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Showing posts from September, 2005

Padasal sa patay (2)

NAHALUNGKAT: sa rosarium o halamanan ng rosas pala nag-ugat ang katagang “rosaryo.” Matinik na lunan iyon—hitik sa tinik ang mga tangkay ng bawat humahalimuyak na bulaklak.

Sa halip na lumuhod sa paanan ng dambana, sa piling ng mga tinik, tangkay, at talulot nakagawian yatang maghasik ng dasal noong unang panahon. Baka sa ganoon ding sulok ng halamanan makakalkal ang pinagmulan ng isang sinaunang sawikain. “Walang matimtimang birhen sa matiyagang kumain nang kumain nang kumain.”

Magugunita tuloy ang mga kakatwang tagpo mula nobelang Como Agua para Chocolate ni Laura Esquivel— sumulak sa sidhi ang libog ng bawat lumantak ng putaheng pugo na may salsa mula talulot ng rosas. Pilit ipinagpag ng isang dilag ang utog—naligo pero nagliyab pati ang paliguan, nadarang sa matinding init na sumingaw sa hubo’t hubad na katawan.

Maidadagdag pa ang kuntil-butil ng Doctrine of Signatures mula kay Theoprastus Paracelsus. Saklaw daw ng planetang Venus ang rosas— sakop niyong planeta pati na puson at ka…

Padasal sa patay

NAGLIPANA marahil ang mga pusakal barumbado’t walang budhi sa lansangan. Kaya may isa o dalawang pasahero—karaniwang babae, karaniwang nasa dapithapon na ang edad—na may hawak na dusaryo, umuusal ng sandaan yatang pagpupugay Ave Maria. Saka ilang Ama Namin at pahayag ng pananampalataya. Sambungkos na dasal ang alay habang naglalakbay.

Pakay ng panalangin habang lulan ng pampublikong sasakyan na makaiwas sa sakuna. Makaligtas sa mga mandurukot, manlalaslas ng bag, mga bangag na naghahanap ng makukursunada. Lalo nang dapat ipag-adya sa mga holdaper. Talagang tigib sa panganib at amba ng trahedya ang biyahe sa araw-araw. Walang katiyakan.

Aantig sa paningin ang isa o dalawang may hawak na dusaryo. Kawing-kawing, bungkos-bungkos ang ipapailanlang na dalangin sa hangin. Tila mga butil ng binhi ang taimtim na ihahasik upang sumibol. Siguro’y yumabong kahit paano.

Para silang nagpapalipad ng saranggola. May ikid ng pisi, ilalarga na unti-unti—pataas, pataas, pataas. Ibig humalik o humaluka…

My beloved god-daughter Tintin

‘TWAS your mom Rivs who told me that I’m a godfather to a doctor—and it’s you pursuing medical practice in that land of the not so puissant greenback. After all those 24 birthdays of yours, add two dozen Christmases past—include the token pakimkim sum—I’m neck-deep indebted to you, perdoneme por favor hija mia.

Don’t you come home and dun me. I’ll take that as grave threats, my dear,

Somebody did proxy for me at your baptism, so I was told. The rite could have gone zany had a priest asked me to renounce Satan, Belial, Mammon, Astaroth, or any of those diabolical oafs who shower temptations galore to every willing and witting sinner. That fairy tale author Oscar Wilde averred ages back, “I can resist everything except temptations.”

Believe you me, I might have taken exception to renouncing Mammon, honest. Soy un llano jardinero pero puedo pase muchos dinero.

But I’m not about to nudge you to come home to these god-forsaken islands where Mammon reigns supreme and the Roman Catholic fait…

Bye, bye American spy | Lawmakers’ souls for sale—cheap! (PJI editorials 17-18 September 2005)

Bye, bye American spy

SPIES are usual condiments of life and politics in these god-forsaken islands.

Unlike the bulk of readers who poke their snouts into useless trivia and intrigue in show business circles hereabouts, those shadowy figures among us zero in on strategic and tactical information—the sort that can be used to grab key politicos and industry leaders by the balls, that is, if they have any.

It is likely the bulk of such gathered information provide American policymakers a voyeur’s glimpse into the workings of our so-called ‘amokcracy’—make that gone amok democracy.

Who knows if those shadowy oafs may have helped the ‘Hello Garci’ protagonist to fly the coop? They might have even given an eager hand in kneading the poll tallies and kneading numbers in the air-conditioned comforts of a hotel room to foist a president upon a gullible populace who won’t care if either Darna or a hippopotamus is enthroned in Malacañang.

Politically useful information costs a bundle of money. A…

Run, Garci, run! | Read and weep | Small minds, loud mouths (PJI editorials 10-12 September 2005)

Run, Garci, run!

FLY, Garci, fly.

No, we’re not talking about zipping up trousers and pantaloons. Not about a pesky pest that lay eggs on filth or carrion to turn up a wriggle of maggots and such disease as diphtheria.

You’ve flown the coop. Why, we define ourselves by what we do. What you did spoke for what you really are—you flew the coop.

So you’re chicken—likely with a wishbone for a backbone.

We don’t really want you to come home after you took off for parts unknown. These days, we can’t be sure. You may have turned into a carrier of the dreaded avian flu virus. Probably chicken pox, mites, cholera, botulism, blackheads, halitosis, fits of cackling or any odd undiscovered ailment that usually afflicts fowls.

Fly, Garci, fly.

Please spare us the plague, Garci. We can’t handle any of such risks to the public health and political wellness. You’ve already caused us truckloads of trouble—you and your chat-mate in that infamous “Hello Garci” chit-chat made us walk on egg shells not …

Show must go on! (Tuloy ang ligaya!) [PJI editorial 8 September 2005]

Show must go on!

THOSE clutch of full-page ads that saw print in several broadsheets before the House of Reps went on vote the other day must have cost a lot of money. It was earnest money to convince us chaos could erupt if Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is ousted.

Some pockets must have erupted and there flowed cash—that we know.

Money talks and it’s the dough talking through those ads. In that truism we are convinced.

The buck stopped there. We wish that some of those bucks went our way, too, we really could use some—these aren’t exactly easy times and we’re looking with grim expressions at the prospects of the expanded value added tax causing some more expansion of our expenditures while adding nothing of value into our lives.

The people’s reps need not have wasted precious spittle and man-hours to explain their stand. We can understand any lapse of judgment. We can comprehend how sorry they are at turning up (after a record-setting session) a set of numbers we can’t even ply at lotto o…

Yakap sa pag-akyat

HINDI mahikayat ang damuho kong anak na akyatin ang katabing puno rin ng alibangbang (Bauhinia malabarica). Para ‘kako makarami agad sa makukuhang talbos— nakatikom pang mga pakpak ng lunting mumunting paru-paro ang anyo. Para agad na makauwi’t maisalang na ang lulutuing ayungin. Sinigang. Talbos-alibangbang ang sangkap na pang-asim.

Pakpak-paruparo’t palikpik-isda ang itatanghal na lutuin. Payak man sa tingin, sasagi ang masining na pagsasanib ng magkahiwalay na larawan mula kalikasan—mula himpapawid na palaruan ng paru-paro’t mula lilim sa ilalim ng tubig na ginagalugad ng mga isda. Lutuin na tila hinango mula sa mga likha ni Dutch printmaker Maurits Cornelis Escher—pinagsalit-salit na larawan ng mga isda’t ibon. Parangal iyon sa mga nilalang sa tubig at hangin.

Parangal din marahil na yakapin ang puno sa panimula ng akyat. Nabanggit sa anak—si Kukudyu—na tatlong puno lang ang may sigasig mabuhay kahit masibasib pa ng apoy ang kanilang kinatitindigan. Karaniwang silang tatlo lang a…

Making lemonade (Timpla ng limonada)| Noodles in a haystack (Mami sa dayami) [PJI Editorials 4-5 September 2005]

Making lemonade

WE have lemons—a lot of lemons. We can slice them. Squeeze the juice plus pulp out. Stir some sugar into that. Add water— dya-dya-dyaang! – and we have lemonade. Pools and pools and pools of lemonade we can swim, launch ships on, probably buoy up hopes of the 7, 107 islands we live in.

And don’t throw the zest off those lemons. The zest— also called rind, peel, skin that has a lot of wonderful smelling oils in it. That can be used to make lemon liqueur called lemoncillo. Making lemoncillo takes a longer time than lemonade. The process is not too complicated.

We’re considering a two-bit advice: Stuck up with lemons? Make lemonade. It’s much more potable, palatable than sour grapes and belly-aching.

See here. Of every 1,000 elementary school graduates turned up by the public school system, 994 are lemons. The six that are different must be freaks or oddballs.

Of every 100 high school graduates, 98 are lemons. The two non-lemons in that pack ought to be mutants or aliens f…