Tuesday, September 29, 2009


"aslagan" is a kapampangan word for sunrise/sunshine. wonderful! i love sunrises and sunshine and sunsets...it's time for looking at the brighter side of life...i'm sure you'll agree...i am not from pampanga (a province of great cooks and writers and artists in central luzon) but my friend malu gueco is. she is my diabetic friend who survived without amputating her foot.

yes, i was relating to you her story in a previous blog (see my july blogs...). i really thought she lost her foot, but when i visited her 2 weekends ago, lo and behold! both legs greeted me at the door. it was really a miracle, seeing how pale to almost ashen her face and whole body was during that sorry time in the hospital.

it's just wonder-full accompanying her in her healing, in body, mind and spirit. that's what i like in malu, she's got a lot of soul in her...she continues to write in her column "aslagan" in their community paper in pampanga. and while recovering, (this is really great) she began drawing visual representations of her inner lifework...whatever gave her inspiration just moved her to creating and creating and creating...i wish i could post her artpieces here, hopefully i could get photos soon...

by the way, did you know the reason for malu's opting not to have her foot amputated (which is really a brave thing to do...such courage!)? she is on natural healing therapy which i really loved the moment i learned about it! i don't know if i can announce the therapy here. allow me first to get permission. i do believe in natural healing if at all possible. sometimes, integrative medicine is an option. it's a combination of western and eastern medicine. (i'll talk about this in another post...)

i grew up with women in the family who have been herbalists. my maternal grandmother was really good in mixing herbs, as with all other mothers of her time. she was also a natural botanist. she never learned the profession, but she had a natural skill to plant; and anything she planted, grew! she used to encourage my mom when they were kids, to bring viable seeds with them when on an out-of-town trip. and would ask to spread the seeds outdoors....i wonder...those seeds might be those great big trees along the highway going up north today...

oh well...the sun is bursting its beauty out on the horizon...another day is almost over...the sun sets only to rise again...yes, we know it will indeed rise again tomorrow...for the millions who suffered in the storm, the sun will rise tomorrow...there is hope...

embrace tomorrow with faith, hope, love, and peace...
(many thanks for photos from everywhere...)


Monday, September 28, 2009

ketsana's fury in photos...

uncertain steps...you'll never
know what's ahead...

holding on to dear life...

all that's left of my things...

cars afloat in front of a university building...

manggahan floodway had to be destroyed
to give way to enormous volume
of rainwater...

stranded in the airport...

the aftermath...trash and broken fences

...he probably didn't get home on time...

...how did that car get there?...

uh oh...no, they're not matchbox cars...
and no one's playing...they're for real...

in a relief center...cell phones are charging..
how much of their lives will be "re-charged"?

oh no, not even a big, beautiful house
was spared...

saving lives on a rubber boat...

they used a banca to save what's left
of possessions...

"salamat kuya!" (thank you my big brother!)...

saturday is a working day for
some of us. september 26,2009 will
never be forgotten..all were
rushing home...(see the traffic
farther down? some reached home
the next day)

holding on to each other amidst
the typhoon's wrath...

even expensive cars were not spared...

these trash came from everywhere brought by the floods...a backlash
because of humans' indifference to nature...

eroded earth...mud, silt and sand...
where do we start? where do we go from here?

this boy, collects from what's left...
mud, plastic bags, trash...

the nameless...faceless...may she
rest in the peace of God...

i light a candle...for the dead who hope to rest in peace...
and for the living who continue to hope for
a new beginning...

thank you for visiting this blog. please offer 5 minutes of silence in your workplace...homes...wherever you are for us here and send your positive thoughts,
prayers, energy...we need you now...

here is a flower for you in return...peace...may peace reign in our hearts...

(thanks very much to the heroes behind the lens for these photos...)


i mourn for nature and humanity...

i can't post any pictures today. i can't write poetry. i can't wait for inspiration. i grieve for events past, devastating, destructive. life seems to have stopped. where do i start? what can i say? the rains fell, and fell and fell and for nine hours, poured in 420 mm of rainfall, normally the amount of rain for two months. it's all rain, just rain. and the rivers rose, and they rose and rose and it seemed like it never stopped rising. and the most terrible thing happened.

the river currents did not choose where to go. it just went and went and went. passed houses, trees, people, gas stations, malls, playgrounds, parks, supermarkets, hospitals, churches, city halls, government offices, schools...and i cried for the little houses, with the little people...carried away by the currents. and away and away and away it went with the mothers and children, the old folks, the fathers, the pets, the movie stars and government officials, basketball players, call center agents... were held tight by the strong arms of the river currents...and their senses were carried away. and our senses too were carried away...what do we do? as we watched and watched and watched as all vanished from our sight...

the Marikina Valley and nearby cities, Pasig, Cainta and San Mateo has become a receptacle in geological history. after a great earthquake thousands of years ago, this faultline cracked open and lo and behold, a valley lush and fertile unfolded...sadly, trees from nearby antipolo hills have been wantonly cut, raped and ravaged. where will the rain waters go? and sadly, the people's indifference have contributed to millions of trash...hence the flash floods rising, obtructing all passageways...how sad...i grieve...so many dead and numbers rising...so many of the children and elders lost, missing. and is their wisdom lost too? the children ask. perhaps i will offer a mandala for peace...

we need your positive thoughts...please send us some...we will be peace...


Friday, September 18, 2009

the hidden, the small, the beautiful

today i was inspired to craft poetry out of pictures shared with me by blogger Christer (do follow his beautiful blog: thecottagebythecranelake.blogspot.com)...he did so many beautiful photos and the thought just popped into my mind. i'd like to thank him for sharing these, so my way of giving back the wonderful gesture of sharing is to write poetry. here goes...

the hidden, the small, the beautiful

i languished in grief and loss
to think of the wise old woman
by the church gate
she mumbled words
i took to heart
it was a cloudy day i remember

i shed tears
and the past recollections
of the years
gone, tucked within
the archives
of Life's pleasures...
i began to look
in every place
where treasures
may be...

i looked, not up
not around,
for the spaces
were vast, wide,

i traveled far,
walked paths
roads narrow,
and less traveled...

parched, dry,
exhausted, i
looked down,
down, on the ground,
i looked
at Earth
and found...

a tiny violet
smiling, brilliant,
calling me to
wander into her
but where?
and walked

and oh my sense
of awe and wonder
has pricked
all other senses
for lo and behold
i would have missed
a green creature
if not for
the grass kissed
my hand
as my foot chanced
a toadstool...

as deeper into
the woods i
wonder of all
i almost could not see
the weaving of a
i gasped in glee

remembering purple
when i mourned
for a friend lost
in cavernous thoughts
from life, hard
and scorned
i sought her
and what to my delight
a precious sight,
my friend and her dancer
to the music of life

still i wandered about
meandering paths

but not grieving
remembering the
wise old woman
who mumbled

for somehow
in my little
i have found pleasures of
love, light
and life...
in things hidden, small,

thanks very much for photos of Christer


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

psalm of a hut dweller...

there was no rain
the sun came out today,
i was smiling happy at everyone
i thought of visiting
the banana sidewalk vendor
and buy some

they're still green
but soon will ripen and turn
into golden yellow...

as i walked back home
i thought of the people
who can't eat...

those who are pushed
to the margins of society
pushed to the
fringes of the cruel city...

i dreamed of the best
for everyone...
but i stopped dreaming
i began to shout and called...

i called the stones...

i called the bamboo...

i called the rivers...

my voice reached the ends of the
Sierra Madre...

and they heard
my voice...
let us build!
let us build for my
urban poor dweller
for my shanty settler.

let us build!
so that she can

i reached my hut
ate my bananas
and dreamed

is that all i can be?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

down came the rains...

when it rains, and it's a sunday,
i love to get cups and cups of
fresh mountain coffee and
drown myself into its pool...
warm stuff warming the heart
on a cold day when cold hearts
everywhere, walk here and there...

i look out my window
and lo and behold

all 's well
life is good
blessings abound
i know better days
are coming
the vendor of rice cakes
said so...
i believe her
after all, she has lived
to tell me this...

she gave me a hibiscus
to embrace
from where is the hibiscus?

she said nothing
just the smile
of this flower.
and i smile back...

go gently through life now...