Friday, August 14, 2009


She was a frightened little puppy, barely a month old, a sorry little creature made up of nothing but skin and bones. For days, she cried pitiably for the family from whom she was separated far too soon.

I never paid this puppy any particular attention. Our houseboy brought her home so technically she was his puppy.

I quickly forgot all about her as soon as she quieted down. I am used to having dogs and cats of all ages around our home. Abby and I have a habit of picking up abandoned kittens and puppies that we’d pass along the streets. We do not have the heart to leave them to their inevitable fate … a slow, agonizing death by starvation or a quick, gruesome one brought on by the crushing wheels of uncaring drivers.

We have had our share of deaths over the years. Most of the kittens we picked up were far too gone to be saved. But we also have our successes. Just a few days ago, one cat I rescued as a kitten brought down her two adorable bundles of fur from our roof.

Like most of our cats, she has remained unnamed. I have long since given up naming each and every one of them. But they are all loved and cared for. My wish for them to have a home where they are safe and well fed has been fulfilled.

We also have our share of adopted cats and dogs like Kitty Girl, a pretty white cat that could no longer be kept but its previous owner, or Creepy who, despite his name, is the most lovable imp there is. He almost drove his former owners and their neighbors crazy with his nightly pleas to be allowed inside their home. Then there’s friendly Brownie, abandoned by our neighbors, and fearsome Takoy, an all-black mongrel whom my husband Nonoy rescued from a certain death. Takoy, along with gentle Cutie, another adoptee, added three more dogs to our zoo, as Nonoy would call our home.

And a virtual zoo, our home is! Our houseboy had also picked up our habit and started bringing back his own collection of animals starting with a black cat and ending with several fighting cocks along with hens that have since given us a periodic supply of eggs. Add to that the flock of bantam chicken that have so fascinated me and lo and behold! A home, zoo and farm all rolled into one! Our little piece of heaven.

And then there was that scrawny brown mongrel pup that kept to herself. I barely noticed her and only came to know so much later that our houseboy had named her Dayang. Abby got to know her first. They quickly built a friendship and often played their favorite game together - fetching stones.

Without my knowing it, this little askal slowly wormed her way into my heart with her sweet and gentle nature. What a joy she was! She was always the first to greet me when I’d arrive home. My fondest memory of Dayang is of her coming towards me with tail wagging shyly, eyes half-closed, ears pulled back with glee and a face that exuded nothing but pure goodwill.

Dayang left us today. She started ailing a few days ago. I was supposed to take her to the vet today. Instead, I found her lying flat on the ground, her entire body convulsing wildly. I have never seen a more horrible sight. And I have never felt more helpless. But what broke my heart was to see this tormented little dog managing a weak wag for me when I came to her. I cried when I saw what looked like tears welling up from her eyes as her whole body shook and convulsed. Do dogs cry? I stayed with her until the end, telling her that I loved her, and praying for God to end her agony.

I really loved that little dog. But I remember how I used to shoo her away as I gave food scraps to our 11-year old Nono and 10-year old Chacha, geriatrics in the canine world … often telling Dayang that the food were only for the lolo and lola. I used to tell her, when you’re old, you’re turn will come. But Dayang never grew old.

Dayang’s death today taught me a very valuable lesson about relationships. It’s something that I have always known with my mind but have never felt with my heart. It’s all about love and letting our loved ones know today that they are loved. We should never reserve that expression of our love for later. Today is what matters. For we never know what will happen tomorrow.

Saturday, August 08, 2009





Those who wish to sign the petition, please follow the link below:

* I am reproducing here a copy of the petition.

To: ABS CBN Management, MTRCB and PANA
To Whom It May Concern:

I am an avid viewer of ABS CBN and I am very well up-to-date regarding their shows. Without any doubt, I am a Kapamilya. However, last August 03, 2009, an incident happened when Wowowee Host Willie Revillame blurted out comments when a video of Pres. Cory's cortege appeared on the screen.

While a contestant was dancing for the talent portion, a snippet of Pres. Cory Aquino's cortege was shown on the screen. But Willie did not cut short the dancing portion. Instead, he let the contestant finish her routine. After that, he blurted out comments regarding the video of Pre. Cory's cortege. He said:

"Kung ganyan, pakita na lang natin 'yan. Kasi nagsasaya kami dito, tapos... Masakit sa akin 'yan, e. Nagsasalita ako dito... 'yan, please. Sana maintindihan n'yo. Nagsasaya kami dito, papakita n'yo sa amin yun ang... di ba? Hindi tama, e. Okey? Hindi ba?"

"Pangit! Hindi ho maganda sa atin. Nagsasalita, ipinapakita yung kabaong ni Tita Cory, hindi ba? Papano kami makapagsasaya, nahihirapan kami? I'm sorry ho, ha. Pero ako, totoo ako, e. 'Wag n'yo akong pagagalitan, kasi totoo ang gusto kong malaman...

"Pagkatapos ng show, ipakita n'yo ang gusto n'yong palabas. Kasi itong Wowowee, gusto ko... Hindi ba, at alam din ni Tita Cory 'yan dahil napasaya rin siya ng show na ito na laging masaya dito, ok?"

Some may argue that Willie's intention was good, but I rather find these statements rude and arrogant. Wowowee and Revillame is known by millions of Filipino viewers and the show is even watched across several countries through TFC. To react in such way is downright arrogant and disrespectful to the former President Corzaon Aquino. I know that it was a bad taste for ABS-CBN to show a snippet of the funeral on Wowowee, but it was worst for Revillame to react that way.

Willie have chosen to let the contestant dance instead of cutting short her act and give way to the coverage of the cortege. Willie have chosen to blurt out his rude comments ON-AIR instead of Off-cam. In short, Willie have chosen to have fun instead of giving way to the funeral of Pres. Corazon Aquino. So they'd rather have fun instead of pay our respects to our democracy icon? That was not a good example to our youth today.

Was it really hard for him to be humble and human? I believe that this is not the first time that he aired his views and rather arrogant comments On-air. He embarasses his staff, makes fun of the contestants, and arrogantly act on TV almost everyday. Pres. Aquino taught us humility, and Revillame is showing us the exact opposite: arrogance.

This time, Willie's statement should be condemed not only by the public, but by the management of ABS-CBN as well. It also creates a public outrage in the internet forums, chatting boards, and online-newspapers. Majority have negative reactions and have condemned Willie Revillame's brutal statements.

With this, I am calling the attention of the management of ABS-CBN to stop the “arrogant act†of Willie Revillame on National TV program and reprimand him because of his actions. Willie Revillame had been very disrespectful to the Pres. Cory Aquino's cortege, Filipinos icon of democracy. It was also worst for your company that your own employee criticize you on national television instead on off the air conversations.

I am calling the attention of the MTRCB to be more vigilant, so that this lowest form of personal attack by a tv showbiz talk show host, for her/his personal agenda, will not happen again

I am calling the PANA to stop supporting Wowowee until they axe or reprimand Willie Revillame due to his actions. With him as one of the hosts, your product does not project a positive image to the public.

The public and TFC subscribers deserve better programming, and we deserve better than the likes of Willie Revillame.

The Undersigned


I am going and you can’t stop me!” I was 18 years old then. I stood in front of my Dad defiantly and repeated that I was going to EDSA with or without him. With that, I marched out of the house, with only one 5-peso bill tucked between the pages of a pocketbook I was reading at that time, a bottle of tap water, a towel and my school ID, just in case …

My mind was in turmoil, trying to figure out how I could get to Ortigas Avenue from Quezon City. I was halfway out of the gate when Daddy ran out after me and told me to wait for him. His concern for his headstrong daughter overcame whatever trepidation he may have had about going to EDSA on that day.

With public transport practically non-existent, we walked from our home all the way to Muñoz Market and hitched a ride to Cubao. Again we walked to Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame.

And glad that he went, Daddy was! Those days in EDSA proved to be the most triumphant days we’ve ever had. We survived on shared food and slept on the ground. We joined fellow Filipinos as we chanted the name of Cory until our voices became hoarse. We scampered for cover whenever helicopter gunships would come into view or when word about nearby loyalist troops would reach us. But stayed we did. In our minds at that time, if worse came to worst, we would stand our ground.

We were in EDSA when the first of those gunships landed in Camp Crame. Oh! The jubilation as we witnessed one land after another and we realized that they have come to “our” side. We shouted with joy and Daddy danced in the street! We laughed and hugged each other and together, we all prayed. Laban signs flashed all over.

We were in EDSA when news of the Marcoses’ flight reached the people. We were in EDSA when Corazon C. Aquino was sworn in as President of the Philippines.

Those were the heady days of EDSA, when after years of darkness, we finally saw the sun again.I have never been more proud of being a Filipino than in those days when we amazed the world … timid Filipinos finally rising up to topple a dictatorship in a way never before seen in history. I have never loved our country as much as I loved the Philippines then. All that love, that hope and optimism, all that pride of our accomplishment as a people, I directed them all to President Cory. How I loved and respected her. I hanged on to her every word, scanned the papers for the latest news about her, and had my heart almost bursting with pride each time she went abroad .. that little, bespectacled housewife in yellow, receiving the world’s accolade, standing shoulder to shoulder with its greatest leaders.

But reality soon caught up with us Filipinos. The President started getting criticized by people who expected too much, too soon. But I stayed by her side, my faith unwavering. I believed in her and knew that what the people had expected from her was too much for anybody to ever achieve. Twenty years of looting could not be undone in one or two years.

In the years that followed however, as President Cory faded from the national center stage, I became guilty of forgetting her. I became cynical again, weary of politics and blasphemous of anything nationalistic. To me, she eventually became simply the ever-supportive mother of Kris Aquino. I’d see her in the news occasionally, espousing one cause or another, and the most thought I’d spare her had been, “she’s too old to be doing that” or “she is better off staying home”.

News of her illness barely moved me as well. My reaction had been more of personal concern over the indiscriminate reach of cancer.

Then one day, as I was driving towards my daughter’s school, I caught a glimpse of a newspaper headline. It blared: “Cory fighting for her life!” I choked as if my entire heart just went up my throat and tears started falling. I could barely see the road. My beloved President Cory was dying! Everything that I ever felt for her came rushing back. I was beside myself with grief.

And now she is gone, that lone ray of hope that guided us Filipinos out of the darkness. She is gone, that shining example of how every Filipino, every person, every woman, every mother, and every leader should be. Bundled all together in her small frame was the purest form of integrity and humility, selfless service, strength of conviction, and indestructible faith in God. Now that she is gone, who else will show us how we should be?

And how do we say “Thank You” to President Cory for the person that she was? How do we say “Thank You” for giving herself so selflessly to us? How do we say “Thank You” for that hope that she inspired, for that fierce pride that she made us feel, for that intense love of country that she gave us?

How do we say thank you to a beloved? How do we say goodbye?

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Republic of the Philippines
1933 - 2009