Skip to main content


Wrest in peace

UPON maturity, a banana herb—it is an herb, not a tree-- sprouts forth its heart pointing at the tent of skies, then, takes a bow at any point in the compass; a heart that bows to the east at the wee hours, as elders have it, yields the so-called ‘mutya ng saging.’ Mutya is a Tagalog word for pearl, gem, beloved, beauty, or maiden. 

A flock of malignant beings stands guard to catch the ‘mutya ng saging’. Any intrepid soul who succeeds in seizing it attains, so elders say, prodigious strength and power—which malignant powers-that-be would rather keep. Thus, a power grab or agaw agimat entails a no-holds-barred tussle akin to a Jacob wrestling with a God-sent angel in the dead of night, prior to his date with fate glorious.

In a gesture similar to a bearer of prodigious power, progenitor of the serene defensive art aikido, O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba pays respect to the sun with deep obeisance to the east. Such rite of respect, akin to the Christian offering of hymns at dawn, allows his body to bask in bio-available Vitamin D from sunlight which strengthens the bones, gives the skin a healthy glow, and boosts the body immunity system—something anathema today to most people who would rather slather themselves with sunblock, sunscreen or any unguent to shun the sun.

The master would, after a light breakfast of rice cakes, engage as many as a dozen advanced students in a sparring session—students attack simultaneously; he whirlwinds, and finally stands alone amidst the fallen or hurled off. At 80, he still had prodigious grace.

An elderly master and agimat-bearing plant somehow point up how respect can inhere power.

The ancient Japanese term for respect is rei,Rei which refers to “the spiritual aspect of the human being, unpolluted, the numinous, the divine, the luminosity of a god or sage, charismatic power, a wonder.” Rei as descriptive/prescriptive precedes a quaint alternative healing art called reiki,Rei Kiwhich literally translates to “respect for the life force or life’s breath.” Indeed, reiki healing methods, as its practitioners aver, depend largely on a reverence for life.

Such reservoir of healing powers has been thrown out the window these days, say, in the ensuing squabble over so-called “onerous, downright odious” provisions of Republic Act No. 10175 (or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012).

Magistrates of the Supreme Court had ruled the provisions as “constitutional,” prompting the 1.5-million strong netizens to raise a collective howl, even vent their spleen on the culprit lawmaker who sneaked in the “offensive” sections of the statute, especially on electronic libel that can now be meted a 6-12 year jail term. The Revised Penal Code slaps libel with a jail term of six months and one day to four years and two months.

Already, the social media—Tweeter, Facebook, Tagged and the like— are roiling with a whirl of protests.

Not one protestor hurling scatology and invectives in print has been haled to court. Yet.

Pray, dear sirs, what calaboose would be huge enough to accommodate such asp-minded malefactors—who may just be begging to be jailed and fed, at the usual taxpayers’ expense?

Salus populi suprema est lex. The welfare of the people is the supreme law.


Popular posts from this blog

Every single cell of my body's happy

I got this one from Carmelite Sisters from whose school three of my kids were graduated from. They have this snatch of a song that packs a fusion metal and liebeslaud beat and whose lyrics go like this:

"Every single cell of my body is happy. Every single cell of my body is well. I thank you, Lord. I feel so good. Every single cell of my body is well."

Biology-sharp nerds would readily agree with me in this digression... Over their lifetimes, cells are assaulted by a host of biological insults and injuries. The cells go through such ordeals as infection, trauma, extremes of temperature, exposure to toxins in the environment, and damage from metabolic processes-- this last item is often self-inflicted and includes a merry motley medley of smoking a deck a day of Philip Morris menthols, drinking currant-flavored vodka or suds, overindulgence in red meat or the choicest fat-marbled cuts of poultry and such carcass.

When the damage gets to a certain point, cells self-destruct. T…

Ayungin-- comfort food

PAMBIHIRA na ngayon ang makasumpong ng ayungin o lukaok (Therapon plumbeus) sa palengke. Pambihira--kapag nakatagpo ng ayungin para na ring nakatagpo ng matino’t matuwid na tao na nakaluklok sa gobyerno.

Nagmula man sa tubig na tabang, tabsing, o alat, bihira nang makahagilap ng ayungin o silver perch. Palatandaan kasi ang malinamnam na isda na tahasang malinis, halos dalisay ang tubig na pinagmulan nito. Kakayanin ng dalag, tilapia, talandi, biya, gurami, bangus at hito na mabuhay sa maruming tubig—na dagliang lilipol sa kawawang ayungin. Saan bang lupalop ng bansa meron pang lubluban ng tubig na nakaligtas o nakaiwas sa polusyon at pagsalaula?

Pintor-manlililok na Manuel D. Baldemor ang nag-alok sa akin ng ayungin. Hindi talaga ayungin. Anyo na lang ng ayungin ang inialok. Sabi nga’y visual food for thought. Binitad o nakatuhog na tila mga talulot ng bulaklak sa tuhugang tilad na kawayan. Masining na nakabukadkad sa bilao, nakasalampak na anyo sa papel. Hindi na mapapatakam ni magl…


MAYAMAN pala sa tinatawag na phytochemicals o sangkap na panlaban sa samut-saring sakit ang singkamas—na sa alias nito sa Latin ay talagang kahindik-hindik na ang dating, Pachyrhizus erosus. Tunog erotikong suso sa dulo.

Jicama ang pangalan nito sa pinagmulang lupalop. Mula pa Mexico, nakarating sa ating pampangin nitong kasagsagan ng kalakalang Manila-Acapulco. Jicama. Sumablay ang bigkas dahil kasintunog ng “higa kama.” Nabalbal. Naging singkamas sa ating wika.

Pampigil sa salakay ng kanser, pampababa ng antas ng masamang cholesterol sa dugo, likas din na antibiotic o pamuksa ng mikrobyo sa katawan. Pampalakas sa likas na panlaban ng katawan kontra sakit. Anti-oxidant o pampahupa sa pagiging amoy-lupa. Karaniwan ding gamit na sangkap sa siomai at lumpia.

Hubad na lumpia! Opo, hindi hubo’t hubad ang tawag sa naturang lutuin. Hubad lang. Masarap kung may kalahok pang budbod na mani.

Kaya nakagawian nang talupan ng mga hayok. Ilalantad ang kinis-labanos na laman na pinipithaya (kahu…