It has been a “down in the dumps” couple of weeks. Painfully depressing. It is a story that won’t go away. I certainly don’t want to add yet one more voice to the cacophony out there asking questions, speculating and making judgments. But it is difficult to remain silent.
There is no way things can be undone. The tragedy cannot be reversed. Oh if only it could! Right now all we feel is rage, grief, doubt, confusion, and deep, painful disappointment. I listened in on the conversation of young men and women at a family lunch Sunday, and it broke my heart.
Our words of tribute are drowned by the wails of the bereaved. The nation groans, tired of having to rise above its misfortunes. Again? But how can it not? It must.
It is said that, “it is during the bad times that we find the best lessons.” And I ask, are we learning anything?
I see the eyes of greedy, slavering opportunists ready to grab the spoils, and it is sickening. It frightens me.
At the height of the Pope Francis euphoria, we remembered every word he spoke. “Keep quiet,” he said. “Make it a habit to ask the Lord.” Did we forget?
Please God we pray for wisdom.
I was chatting with a friend about her daughter, who is an acclaimed and multiawarded athlete. She casually mentioned that her child, now a high school senior, wants to immerse herself in anything and everything Filipiniana—from products to people, to ideas, even OPM. “She wants to help change the world.”
Big dreams you say? Why not? In the words of Walt Disney: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
‘Guro to Pangulo’
Nov. 16 this year is the 125th birth anniversary of President Elpidio R. Quirino. To mark the occasion, plans for a yearlong series of activities celebrating his life and times are under way.
Quirino was born in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. His parents were far from affluent. “Guro to Pangulo” commemorates his life of hard work and sacrifice, starting out as a barrio grade school teacher to support his own studies, and becoming one of the most beloved and fondly remembered Philippine presidents of all time.
When Quirino had saved enough money, he packed up and moved to a Manila high school. He continued working while he was a student at the University of the Philippines College of Law and was a topnotcher in the bar exams of 1915.
Even when he was president, he never forgot his early days. His word to teachers was “to spread light” and to “go beyond the present horizon.” He shared with them his deep desire “to retire some day from this palace to another barrio school and teach in it. ”
In 1945 Quirino lost his wife, Alicia Syquia, and three of their children during the liberation of Manila. But before he left office in 1953, he signed an order for executive clemency for the Japanese prisoners of war from World War II who were still imprisoned in Muntinlupa and sent them home. This gesture of Christian compassion has never been forgotten, especially in Japan.
I invite you to go to the “Guro to Pangulo” website, www.elpidioquirino.org.
Suddenly it’s Feb. 14
In less than a week it is Valentine’s Day. What to do, where to go?
Top of my list would be “Ultimate” on the 13th and 14th at the MOA Arena for very selfish and personal reasons, of course. I know you will indulge me when I say that it is THE place to go.
But wait, I got a very tempting e-mail that reads: “Spend the most romantic Valentine’s Day of your life at ‘A Love Affair’ with the New Minstrels, the Divos and Asia’s Queen of Songs, Ms Pilita Corrales.” Ray-An Fuentes is their special guest. Can you say nostalgia?
I love that it will be held in such an interesting venue. I have never been to Fernbrook Gardens. Every time I drive by there, I wonder about it. It looks like a gigantic, elegant fairy-tale gazebo where only beautiful things can happen. I want to see it up close. You too? Call 710-8545.
It’s the time for red hearts on mushy cards, for gifts of flowers and candy, and bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Back in the day we breathlessly waited for dedications of love songs on the radio. Remember? Do guys still do that?
And do young people, single or not, still write each other love letters?
Here’s an excerpt from one written in Spanish in 1925 by Elpidio Quirino to his wife.
“Now I am alone at home while the whole world makes noise in the streets at this moment because it is midnight and the New Year has arrived. This is when I long to be with my children and you, all of us together. That would be such a wonderful beginning of the year for us. We would start the year kissing one another, the four of us. Just like that one afternoon. Do you remember? No more. Enough dreaming.” Sweet!
My first serious Valentine’s gift was a gold ID bracelet with my name on one side and a “5” on the other.
What do I wish for on this day of love and lovers? Not much, really. My memories, too many to count, are foolish and romantic enough to make me happy.
Well, OK, maybe someone out there can answer this question: “When is the 12th of Never?”