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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Justo Lukbán — “sanitary” politician

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Although it is true that I already have a strong aversion towards democracy, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I dislike all those who work within that political system. Technically, democracy was brought here by the invading White Anglo-Saxon Protestants a.k.a. the North American invaders. The leaders of the much revered Malolos Congress were pioneers of democracy or republicanism. But that doesn’t equate them to becoming corrupt individuals. Yes, democracy failed from the very start. Many scrupulous persons were swallowed by political perversion brought about by democracy’s defects. However, if we are to compare the players of today’s democracy to yesterday’s, Noynoy Aquino, Erap Estrada, Manny Villar, et al., would have paled in comparison to their predecessors who lived during pre-war Philippines, a fabled time when our country still knew how to respect herself.

Thus this blogpost is my commendation to one of that epoch’s incorruptibles: Justo Lukbán of Labo, Camarines Norte. It is his birth anniversary today. Lukbán (originally spelled Lucbán during earlier times when there was still no prejudice against Fil-hispanic orthography) was a former politician during a time when democracy was, in a way, less corrupt. He lived during a time when the Spanish language was still the country’s lingua franca, a time when the “gentleman of the old school” reigned supreme, when our Filipina maidens were still pure and virginal, when Christianity in the Philippines was still one and strong, a time when Philippine literature was in its época de oro or fase de plenitud, when most Filipinos were hombres renacentistas, an era when our country had reached the pinnacle of glory. If only Filipinos of today were like Señor Lukbán and his astounding contemporaries…

Below is a brief biographical sketch of this eminent politician written by Héctor K. Villaroel (from the 1965 book Eminent Filipinos which was published by the National Historical Commission, a precursor of today’s National Historical Institute which was recently renamed the National Historical Commission of the Philippines on 12 May 2010).

JUSTO LUKBÁN
(1863-1927)

Justo Lukbán, a member of the Malolos Congress in the days of the Philippine Revolution, was born in Labo, Camarines Norte, on May 28, 1863, to Agustín Lukbán and Andrea Rillos.

He obtained his early education in a private school conducted by Hugo Ilagan and studied at San Juan de Letrán from 1873, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1880. He enrolled in medicine at the University of Santo Tomás afterwards; and in 1884, while still a medical student, he was appointed Ayudante Director of the institution’s School of Medicine. He graduated in 1888 and soon opened his own private clinic in Manila.

When the revolution broke out, he joined his brother, General Vicente Lukbán, and was elected delegate of Ambos Camarines to the Malolos Congress. Authorized to collect money for the cause of the revolution, he turned in ₱20,200 for the Revolutionary Government.

During the American Regime, he was appointed district health officer of Ambos Camarines. When complete peace and order was re-established, and political parties were permitted to be organized, he was one of those who actively initiated the formation of the Nacionalista Party in 1906. Meanwhile, he became editor of La Independencia.

In 1909, he was delegate of the first district of Manila to the National Assembly; he was re-elected in 1910. Later elected as Mayor of Manila, he created a controversy by banishing to Mindanáo all women of ill repute. At the instance of Governor-General Leonard Wood, he was appointed President of the Board of Appeals.

He died on September 2, 1927 of heart disease.

Labo, Camarines Norte, the hometown of illustrious statesman Justo Lukbán.

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Julio Nákpil, musical revolutionist

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Today is the birth anniversary of a very prominent and highly talented revolucionario. His name is Julio Nákpil. Below is a brief biographical sketch of the Manileño revolutionist written by Carmencita H. Acosta (from the 1965 book Eminent Filipinos which was published by the National Historical Commission, a precursor of today’s National Historical Institute).

JULIO NÁKPIL
(1867-1960)

In Julio Nákpil’s musical compositions is reflected his intense love of country. Upon the request of Andrés Bonifacio, he composed and wrote the lyrics of what the Supremo envisioned as the national anthem of the Philippines, entitled Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan.

On November 2, 1896, Nákpil left his home in Manila and proceeded to San Francisco del Monte where he joined the forces of Bonifacio. He fought his first battle alongside Emilio Jacinto in San Mateo under the command of Bonifacio. Nákpil helped in procuring arms and ammunition for the Katipunan. From December, 1896, to March, 1897, he succeeded in sending to Tejeros, San Francisco de Malabón, about 30 to 40 copper boxes of gunpowder taken from the polvorón de San Guillermo in Binañgonan, Mórong. Had Nákpil been caught by the Spaniards, he would surely have been executed.

He assumed the fictitious name “J. Giliw” in all his revolutionary activities, as was the custom during that dangerous period, so as to escape detection by the enemy. When Bonifacio was called to Cavite, he entrusted the command of the revolutionary forces in northern Manila to Isidoro Francisco and chose Nákpil as secretary of said forces. He fought several battles in the aforesaid area under the command of Emilio Jacinto.

His patriotic musical compositions include the “Amor Patrio” which was inspired by Dr. Rizal’s deportation to Mindanáo; “Pahimakas”, a funeral march in commemoration of the execution of Dr. Rizal; “Pásig Pantayanin”, which was dedicated to the bravery and sacrifices of the Revolutionary Army; and “Sueño Eterno”, a tribute to the bravery of the slain General Antonio Luna.

Nákpil was born on May 22, 1867 in Quiapò, Manila, the fourth of twelve children of Juan Nákpil Luna and Juana García Putco. He was self-educated; and earned fame as a pianist and composer. He married the widow of Bonifacio, Gregoria de Jesús, by whom he had seven daughters and one son, Juan F. Nákpil, a renowned architect.

Nákpil spent the last years of his life at his home in Quiapò, Manila, where he died on November 2, 1960. His memoirs of the Revolution were published after his death under the title of Julio Nákpil and the Philippine Revolution. The Bonifacio Centennial Commission conferred on Julio Nákpil a posthumous award in 1963 in recognition of his patriotism.

Those who have been patiently reading my historical posts in the net might notice an ambivalence towards how I treat revolucionarios, particularly the murderous members of the hispanophobic Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan nğ mğá Anak nğ Bayan. In one blogpost, I condemned them with the fury of a scornful youth (using street language that may have tore down –unfortunately for me– all credibility of the facts which I have written there). In conversations that I have with other like-minded individuals, I do not, for one second, hesitate to declare that Bonifacio and his Katipunan cohorts were criminals, terrorists, and troublemongers.

So why feature a brief biography of an ex-Katipunero? What made him different from Bonifacio and the other Katipuneros?

True, this is a very difficult topic to ponder and discuss. In a free-for-all historical discussion that I had with my allies Señor Guillermo Gómez Rivera and Arnaldo Arnáiz two weekends ago, I was told that in the conflict between historical characters in the Filipino setting (and this excludes the Yankee invaders), there were no villains nor heroes. It was simply history in the making. Although Señor Gómez also has an ambivalent and sometimes compromising attitude towards certain historical personalities, for him, the nationalism of the person counts most. Therefore, Bonifacio is a hero in his book.

But not for me. I always look for the results of human outbursts. And the result of the Katipunan is what we see right now: a society fit for rabid dogs and not for men. Indeed, Bonifacio may have had nobler purposes and dictates, but his dictates were those of the Masonic lodge, the ancient enemy of the true Filipino faith which is Christianity, aka, Catholicism. The seemingly noble ideals of liberté, égalité, et fraternité bedeviled the foothold of absolute monarchy which, in reality, gave birth and form and spiritual synergy to then heathen and backward peoples such as ours. Freemasonry exchanged it for democracy which, in reality, makes us self-destruct, disfigures us, and places us back to our heathen beginnings, no thanks to liberal amounts of liberation.

Going back to Nákpil, perhaps my inclination towards the arts gave me a soft spot for this Quiapense. After his revolutionary works, he lived a semi-hermit life dedicating himself to music and self-education. Aside from his musical masterpieces (which up to now are the talk of many historians and some classical musicians), he also dabbled in linguistics and scholarship (even making notes on the etymology of local geographical names). Although a Tagalista, his language was actually Spanish: he wrote his memoirs and other personal and scholarly notes (such as Teodoro M. Kálaw’s La Revolución Filipina) in the beautiful language of Miguel de Cervantes. And he was sure damn proud of it. How ironic, indeed, for someone to have joined an anti-Spanish terrorist group but whose language and psyche is that of the colonialists.

During his final years, Nákpil was regarded as a “true gentleman of the old school”. His biographer, the late historian Encarnación Alzona, has this to say about the musical revolutionist:

This writer had the privilege of meeting him when he was already in his eighties. What impressed her was his dignified bearing. He was erect, slender, and sprightly, with a ready smile, and above all his mind was lucid. When the conversation turned to the subject close to his heart –the Philippine Revolution– he talked animatedly. He could recount with vividness his experiences during that turbulent epoch. He remembered distinctly certain personalities and what he learned from them. The episode had made lasting impressions on his mind…

By October 1960 his children noticed in him a pronounced physical debility, although he continued his customary morning constitutional, when the weather permitted. On sunny mornings he could be seen dressed neatly and with the aid of his walking stick strolling on the promenade in the Luneta. On All Saints’ Day, 1 November 1960, however, he stayed in bed. On the afternoon of the following day, 2 November, he expired at his home on Barbosa Street. He was ninety-two years old.

If I were to make a comparison between the Katipunan and, say, the Abu Sayyaf, the latter would have paled in deathly comparison. Although both groups are terrorist organizations, the intellect of many a Katipunero was far higher than that of their modern Mindanáo counterpart. Abu Sayyaf members are scalawags and vermins of the lowest ground. After being neutralized, members remain as scumbags. But many Katipunan members such as Nákpil remained dignified and even exalted.

And his music –and language– dignified him more.

Meralco Explains Increase in April 2010 Electric Bill

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Dear customer,

You may have noticed an increase in this month’s electric bill.

In recent months, there have been increases in the generation charge component of the electric bill. In April alone, the generation change went up by 0.93 Pesos/kWh to P6.7699/kWh from P5.8417/kWh in March.

The rise in generation charges springs from the high cost of electricity that Meralco buys from its suppliers. These suppliers consist of the National Power Corporation (NCP), Independent Power Producers (IPP) and Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

The major factor that caused the sharp rise in electricity was because of the increase in the price of WESM, a venue for trading electricity as a commodity in the spot market.

Meralco does not add any mark-up to the cost of electricity purchased from these electricity suppliers. The generation cost, which averages about 50-60% of your electric bill, goes directly to Meralco’s power suppliers and adds nothing to Meralco’s income.

If you will take a minute to examine your electric bill (found in the last column of you bill), you will note that what goes to Meralco is approximately 20-25% of your total bill. The rest go to the power suppliers for the cost of electricity, the NGCP for transmission charges, and to the Government in the form of taxes.

While Meralco has no control over the rise or fall of generation costs, we would like to help you manage your electric consumption so that you can save on your electric bill. For this purpose, we invite you to visit http://www.meralco.com.ph for energy-saving tips or our Meralco Appliance Calculator (MAC) found in the lobby of every Business Center.

We assure you of our continuing effort to find the best energy mix in order to give you the least cost in electricity charges.

Should you need clarification on any of the points mentioned above, please feel free to call 16211.

José P. De Jesús

***************************************************************************************************

Meanwhile, the photo below pretty much sums up what we Meralco customers feel towards Mr. de Jesús’ message…

A call for the preservation and defense of Spanish in the Philippines

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A CALL FOR THE PRESERVATION AND DEFENSE OF SPANISH IN THE PHILIPPINES
Señor Guillermo Gómez Rivera

Dear Friends,

We all know by now that the Spanish language is another tool of development, especially economic development, with the advent of call centers serving the Spanish speakers of the USA and elsewhere in the world. We also know that our country has everything to gain and nothing to lose if we move for the preservation of Spanish through its teaching in our school system.

Those among us who are culture, history, sports (football especially), science, and art buffs also know that Spanish is strongly pertinent in all these fields of human endeavor, and even if we may know English well it is also good to know another language like Spanish.

I would not remind you, of course, that as Filipinos, Spanish is a substantive part of our national culture and national identity.

Let us then remind Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, Jr. about the need to teach and promote Spanish, for Filipino economic and cultural progress.

Let us of course remind Noynoy that Spanish is the principal language of his own paternal grandfather, El Senador Benigno Aquino, the first, a CLOSE associate of Fil-Hispanista Claro M. Recto, wrote and spoke in perfect Spanish AND EVEN MOVED to preserve this language during his time.

Let us remind Noynoy that Spanish is the principal language of legislative deliberation on the part of his own maternal grandfather, El Representante Don José Cojuangco, and of his other maternal grandfather, Don Juan Sumulong, who were brilliant writers and speakers of only Spanish in the course of their respective political careers in this country.

In the Cojuangco ancestral tombs, the lápidas are even written in Spanish. All these show that the families whence he, Noynoy, came used, spoke and wrote in Spanish and if this practice has stopped in the new generations of his own family and clan, it is due to circumstances beyond his control. But that Spanish has its importance today for the rising generations of Filipinos seeking for world opportunities is something that cannot bedenied for even inside the USA, Spanish is a widespread language.

I will then request each one of you to write him about Spanish in any of the points given above. For all you know, he, Noynoy, might even be grateful to you.

Join our movement for the restoration of Spanish in RP as one of our tools of development.

Saludos. Your friend,

Guillermo Gómez Rivera

Google me!

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Hmmm…

Google

Google Philippines

Google España

This is for all the women who want to see me, and for all the men who want to be me, hahaha! Just playin’ around, friends. Have a happy Sunday! =)

Happy 6th birthday, Momay!

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Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima. It is also the sixth birthday of my eldest son, José Mario Guillermo II Alas y Perey. We call him “Momay”, one of my nicknames when I was younger. His name is a combination of my name and of my dear friend, Filipino powerhouse Señor Don Guillermo Gómez y Rivera.

¡Feliz sexto cumpleaños, Momay! We love you dearly!

Philippine elections: a failure even from the very beginning

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The controversial convention at Barrio Tejeros. Many historians acknowledge that the first election in Philippine history was held here.

Significantly, our country’s first president, Emilio Aguinaldo, was not elected by the Filipino people. He was elected by his Katipunan comrades and fellow Freemasons in Tejeros, San Francisco de Malabón (now General Mariano Trías), Cavite, a controversial historical event which is now known as the Tejeros Convention. That first election was exercised not to choose a leader to lead a nation but to lead the rebellion against Spain because during that time, the revolucionarios were divided into two factions: the Mágdalo, led by Aguinaldo and his cousin Baldomero Aguinaldo, and; the Magdiwang, led by Mariano Álvarez.

To pacify and unite the warring factions, which already have their own respective local governments in most of Cavite and other neighboring provinces (those that they captured from the Spanish government), Álvarez invited Katipunan supremo Andrés Bonifacio to mediate in a convention that was supposed to discuss military matters against Spain. But in the end, an election was held to decide who should lead the rebellion once and for all. This happened on 22 March 1897.

The closed-door election among these high-ranking Katipuneros/Freemasons resulted in the presidency of Mágdalo’s Emilio Aguinaldo (who was absent during that time). The convention chose Magdiwang’s Mariano Trías as Aguinaldo’s Vice-President. Meanwhile, Bonifacio was chosen as the Director of the Interior.

Alas, a certain Daniel Tirona questioned the results of the election. He argued that a lawyer should rightfully hold the position of Director of the Interior, even going as far as suggesting another person for the post. Naturally, this insulted Bonifacio. If not for intervening hands, Bonifacio would have shot Tirona. The angry supremo subsequently nullified the result of the proceedings before walking out from it, declaring that he is still the undisputed leader of the Katipunan from which both factions originated. This of course didn’t sit well with the other officials. The rest, as they always say, is history (Bonifacio’s orchestrated trial and execution, the proclamation of a premature independence, the US invasion, etc.).

According to eminent historian Ambeth Ocampo, however, the Bonifacio-Tirona tussle was not enough reason for the Katipunan Supremo to walk out of the proceedings just like that. As per Ocampo’s investigation, one major reason for the walkout was electoral fraud.

Yep, then as now.

Aguinaldo’s cohorts were supposed to be the first “sons of democracy” in this country, but they proved not to be worthy. Understandably, though, the situation back then didn’t allow suffrage a clean chance. For one, the first election was not even national — it was strictly Masonic. Secondly, the first “politicians”, most of whom were Freemasons, were still being taught the rudiments of republicanism and the ideals of democracy — the scourge of a monarchical form of government which had secured and succored the archipelago for hundreds of years. Thirdly, the Philippines was not only at war with Spain but was also wary of US military presence (particularly the fleets which arrived in Manila Bay) brought about by the Spanish-American war. But still, the process was tainted with irregularities, a sickening legacy which we still carry on even in this age of automated elections — the new system, sadly, still has the stigma of distasteful imperfections (“birth pains” or no “birth pains”) because a number of Precinct Count Optical Scan machines bogged down; and just when things seemed to flow out smoothly, sh!t happens!.

However, during the American interlude, the right of suffrage as we know it today was born. Technically, the first election that took place was a municipal one; it happened in Baliuag, Bulacán on 6 May 1899 under the auspices of American military Governor General Arthur MacArthur of which not much is known. But the first national elections in which the whole country was involved were held on 30 July 1907. The Filipinos elected the members of the first Philippine Assembly, the legislative body during the first few years of the US’ illegal reign in the country. Eighty one delegates to the National Assembly were elected while non-Christian provinces and districts having their own special governments were represented by appointees of then Civil Governor James Francis Smith.

Curiously, the newly elected assembleymen were no different from Noynoy Aquino who, as of this writing, is leading in the canvassing of votes in the recently concluded 2010 Philippine National Elections: most were generally young (between 31 and 40 years of age), well-educated, and filthy rich. Around 20 had a stint in the Spanish colonial government, and more than 50 were officials of the ill-fated Malolos government.

Then as now, the elite ruled the legislature. Worse, one of the first bills that these pro-American pigs passed was an increase in their per diem salary! And some even attempted to pass a bill exempting their properties from taxation!

Their apologists may claim that they were still inexperienced when it comes to democratic governance, that a republican form of government is not for personal aggrandizement nor profit. But the abovementioned political immaturity metamorphosed into a much higher form of (subtle) notoriety today. Take this one for instance: don’t you find it insanely immoral to impose Value Added Tax on food, a very basic commodity? If you don’t, I guess I am but a talkative, cynic, and unprincipled ignoramus doltishly questioning as to why the poor are always hungry. And then we have the C-5 road extension and the NBN-ZTE scandals, political dynasties, lawmakers lashing out unparliamentary language against each other, and the like. And such @$$hole-like behavior provokes some of their colleagues to become mentally out of control.

This is the true historical picture of our Philippine electoral system. Conclusion: we have not learned much from our past mistakes. No wonder Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville quipped that “in a democracy, people get the government they deserve.”

You allowed yourselves to be fooled by emotions brought about by last year’s unprecedented events. You allowed yourselves to be fooled by ABS-CBN. You thus allowed yourselves to vote for a color that has been long dead and proven ineffective. You, therefore, deserve the consequences. You will get the government you deserve.

Democracy —the warmachine of the US WASPs, and a clever disguise for mob rule— is but a sham. And history proves it every time.

Philippine general election 2010

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The first time I voted was in 1998. It was a hilarious experience. I voted in Tondo, Manila, my mom’s hood. I rooted for Manila hizzoner Alfredo Lim, then a known crime buster. I even had the rare chance of voting with him in the same precinct. Lim was sitting right in front of me. The crazy media was all over him. And since I was sitting behind him, they were all over me too. Some crazy photojournalist even stepped on my desk just to photograph Lim while casting his vote. Thus, my ballot had this photojournalist’s shoeprint. I was too young to protest nor complain. Sana palá sinumbóng co cay Lim. Sayang.

The late President Cory Aquino endorsed Lim. Fellow hispanista/filipinista, the late great Nick Joaquín, even wrote his biography: May Langit Din Ang Mahirap: The Life Story of Alfredo Siojo Lim. I was too young back then, 18 years of age. I could easily be coaxed. And many of my peers in the university were communist/socialist supporters. I voted just for the experience. However, my choice for the presidency was genuine: I really wanted Lim to pulverize crime and corruption, something that he was known for during his cop days (or so I was told). But Erap won that game.

Through the years, my disdain for local politics was like a festering disturbance in the brain. Politics worsened, and so was my opinion of it. Like many disgruntled Filipinos, I lost hope in the electoral process. Heck, I lost hope in politics altogether. And during my reevaluation of Philippine history, world history, philosophy, and religion, I figured out that we were actually better off under a monarchial form of government (seriously; but I will expound more on this in a future blogpost). I viewed democracy from another standpoint. I realized that it will not work without theological guidance, something frowned upon by hardcore fundamentalist democrats. Filipino nationalist and philosopher Dr. Salvador Araneta proposed for a Christian democracy (published in his 1958 opus Christian Democracy for the Philippines), but he was ignored to the point of even being marginalized.

In 2004, the issue of the National Identification System was top news. Many politicians were proposing that all Filipinos should have a national ID. During that time, I wasn’t really following the news; I had my own personal crisis to take care of, something far more important for me than the caprices of the powers that be. But if I understood the events of that time correctly, those who were eligible to vote but will not register for that year’s election will not receive this important National ID. Yep, I was suckered to vote. As if I had no choice. Whatever. So I chose the lesser evil: FPJ. Me and my wife voted in Pásay City (where we used to live). I was able to cast my vote. She failed to do so — her name was missing for crying out loud! And countless others in the same area were not able to cast their votes as well.

During chats that we had with those unfortunate ones whose names were missing in the voting precincts, I found out that most of them –if not all– voted for Erap back in 1998 (Yeyette herself voted for him). A clever move.

A few years later, “Hello Garci” became one of the most celebrated and best-selling records of all time, of all time! And that was it for me. I told myself, “never again”.

So that is why I did not register for this election. And I vowed to myself that, after what they did to FPJ last 2004, I will never for the life of me waste my time practicing my right of suffering… suffrage I mean.

And so I would like to extend my sincerest apologies to our family friend, Mayor Calixto Catáquiz of San Pedro, La Laguna, who is running for reelection (I did not vote, but I prayed for your victory, sir).

But fellow hispanista/filipinista José Miguel García is wittingly correct with his comment on my Facebook wall: “Pepe, participating in election today, is interacting in a social game, which is very entertaining and diverts us from the stress of the real world for a few weeks or months at least. Do you not like to be relieved of pain even just for a few months?”

Hmmm… sure, why not? It only comes once in a couple of years. It may already be too late to vote. But it is certainly not too late to enjoy the show!

So I went out this morning to take a couple of photos of this circus called the 2010 Philippine National Elections!

The town plaza (with the municipio behind it) seemed so peaceful.

The entrance to the municipio seemed deserted. Not much action here...

...because most of the action is here at the Paaralang Sentral ng San Pedro. Many public schools throughout the country have been converted into voting precincts for the rest of the election period.

Ready to help the helpless.

Voters waiting for their turn are made to wait in vacant rooms.

Here they go!

Thankfully, the voting process in Paaralang Sentral ng San Pedro is peaceful and orderly. Hopefully, the rest will be the same throughout the archipelago.

Last-minute campaigning.

San Pedro Roadmap 2020: will this project (and other similar projects nationwide) ever materialize?

Only God knows...

After taking photos, I treated myself to a Capampañgan delicacy in a nearby restaurant: sisig! No, this is not in honor of GMA, a heartless and shameless Pampangueña. To my mind, feasting on sisig is better than voting. =)

Sunday Sermon

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SUNDAY SERMON
José Mario Alas

♪ …it’s OK to eat fish coz they don’t have any feelings… ♫ –Kurt Cobain–

Death is peace.
Peace is a
piece
of fish out of
water. Water is
life-giving
Mother of Peace,
grant us a piece
of peace and a
basket of fish
multiplied for a
multitude both
hungry and thirsty
for the
Word made Flesh.
This humble piece
of flesh of
salted fish
slowly frying on
an open fire is a
flowery testament
of joyful sparks
of merriment, hope,
and peace. Of mind
and body. Peace of
mind is what
nourishes the body
made up of a school
of wishful fishes
out of water:
dancing, singing,
serenading the hot
winds of change and
decay. Decay, yes,
because Death is
singing to the
steely tunes
of Apollo’s cursed
harp whose strings
are made up of fish-
bones.

05/09/2010

Copyright © 2010
José Mario Alas
Manila, Philippines
All rights reserved.

reminiscences: regrets

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reminiscences: regrets
José Mario Alas

many people have spoken about
yesterday’s fragrance yet quite
a few have smelled it. memories
of love sweetened by youth: a
warm embrace under a moonlit
night bedecked with innocent stars
peppering the evilness of the dark
skies. somehow, it helps ease the
choking impressions of an already
saline life. and like the bubbly effect
of chocolates to an eager child,
yesterday’s fragrance provides all the
soluble answers to murky questions of
this unspeakable yearning for what was
then.

and then.

you are reminded of the sweetness of
teardrops from your first heartbreak,
of your first skin abrations won from
rough school games played by rickety
kids gone out of control, of how you
battled the mocking winds with bundles
of cogon grass out of frustration from
everything which disappoints the
expectations of an age filled with rage
and discotheque (you know those crazed
up kids — you give them knowledge,
they then think of you like wuss), of
your first anticipation to swim with
uncircumcised friends from your flowery
town’s myth-filled river peopled with
natives whose faces show the blankness
of a forgotten age and the very memory
you worship. and then, right after your
childhood garden tilts not to your favor,
you are reminded of how unfair life is,
how unjustified it is to finally meet your
life partner at a rather tardy hour; it is
just like a sumptuous dinner buffet
prepared just for you, but your meat-
hungry friends ate it all up because you
got stuck in an irascible traffic that was
not even of your own design.

smelling flowers was never our design, anyway.
the fragrance just happens to pass by from
time to time whenever the winds feel like it
wants to mock our futility to think and even feel.
But it will remain just that: a fleeting sensation
to our nostrils of hatred and bewilderment.

05/03/2010

Copyright © 2010
José Mario Alas
Manila, Philippines
All rights reserved.

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