Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mother, Ever Help Me.

I've been doing quite a number of repetitive, endless chores at home these days that I, numbed and dumbed with fatigue, could no longer write a simple sentence. Perhaps--and even if I don't really believe in it---I should borrow that verse in the Galatians that I once saw hanging on the toilet walls of the old Mindanews's office, something that I would never forget: "We should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired,we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, we should never get tired, for we shall reap the harvest."
I don't really believe in what it says about reaping the harvest. Some other people will surely get the chance to reap whatever harvest there might be, right before our very eyes, even before we could lift a finger, as what's happening every day. But at the time, when I'm numb and dumb with exhaustion, it pays to repeat any phrase even if it doesn't mean anything. It's only now that I begin to understand why the patriarchal Roman Catholic Church invented the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary; with its repetitive "Pray for us;" and the Novena of the Mother of Perpetual Help, with its perpetual, "Mother, ever help us."
For the damned women of the past centuries (and now) drowning under the load of heavy, repetitive tasks at home, repeating the phrase, "Mother, ever help us," may spell the difference between madness and sanity.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Her Father's Daughter

I am trying to write about her father's daughter except that she's in Manila right now (I imagine--and I'm just imagining this--that she must have left in a huff???), I wouldn't know. I love reading this, though.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

An Excuse for not Blogging

The last 20 days, I have been nursing my five year old asthmatic Sean back to health. I keep missing press conferences, coverages and all types of writing assignments just to make sure that he has his share of protein, fresh fruits, vegetables to finally put an end to his reliance on antibiotics and all those medicine. The last 20 days I thought I was successful. In 2006, he got sick every month. He got sick on February 24, 2006, the 10th year anniversary of the People Power Revolution that ousted a dictator and the day that an unpopular President declared the country under a state of emergency and began her crack down on critical press. When everybody was covering stories about the ironic twist of events, I was massaging Sean's back---a thing any mother would normally do.
I wasn't complaining, of course. After all, with God's help, I was already starving to death. But in the last 20 days, I thought all my instincts were right. I finally conquered the monster that keep hovering over us in the last three years (his attacks started at the age of two.) I had finally saved him from bad eating habits, fatigue, dust, extreme weather condition, weapons of mass destruction.
The last 20 days, I thought. Until last night when the spasm of coughing was back again and I realized we're back to SQUARE ONE. I thought, when will this finally end???

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Davao's San Pedro Cathedral

Among the first structures that the early missionaries put up in this place when the (Christian) settlers first arrived in the late 1840s and pushed the heroic Datu Bago deep in the hinterlands of Waan and beyond. The shape of this Cathedral used to puzzle me until recently, when I finally decided it is shaped like a boat. When you happen to stand right at the gate of Camp Domingo Leonor police barracks just across the street, you could almost say, only the masts are missing!
By posting it here I don't mean to glorify the spirit of conquest that this Cathedral may stand for (if only to be blunt and honest about it) but only to reflect on that time of the past that hasn't gone away.As if to straighten out the rough edges of history, some groups who want to make their message clear love to bomb this Cathedral during Davao's most turbulent times, so, until now, as I drop by to light a candle sometimes, I can't help looking around just to see if it's not one of those days again. In the good ol' days of the early 90s, Sunstar reporter Charles Maxey used to love to recount to me how Digong , as what the media like to call Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte, had made a 60 year-old man accused of raping his 10 year old granddaughter to walk down San Pedro street to the Cathedral on his knees. I did not see it. I was still with Sunstar Cebu at that time but for Charles, it was a great spectacle that seemed to speak something about him and his people.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dark Clouds over Davao Gulf

Can you blame me if this is how the New Year looks to me? After all, the Siberian winds are here, blanketing our days with the cold and damp. Gray clouds and rain-soaked streets dominate the landscape. But did it ever cross our mind that this kind of weather is rather late in coming? This is supposed to come in December but in our most recent December, the heat was terrible. Environmentalists have been pinning the blame on global warming but for some of us, it was more than that. It was a killer weather and it was hardly the Christmas we imagined, at least, for some of us. Those who were afflicted by that overwhelming sadness that tend to visit the poor and the oppressed during the happiest part of the year have succumbed to disease and die. I did not manage to die, though. I merely drifted in and out of consciousness while happy Christmas came and went away. In the afternoon of December 25, I was lucky enough to awaken to see eight messages on my phone, one of them from the most beloved Mandaya Moore, but then, it was too late for a Merry Christmas!
Amidst the dark clouds, however, the New Year promises new hope. First, it was the day when five year old Sean finally got well. For refusing to take food for days, he looked gaunt and tired as we reluctantly strained our ears to listen to the proverbial ringing of another year. Karl finally turned 14, despite our absence. Now, as we try to catch up on reading assignments, re-discover a crazy mixture of Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and Sesame street characters, we begin to nurse a fledgling new hope for the year. Maybe, the grasses will continue to grow afterall.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Thank You, Firedog!

For opening us to a hundred ways of seeing this part
of the Davao Bankerohan river.