Thursday, May 31, 2007

SPURS, Western Conference Champion - Annie

Let’s break away from our topic to congratulate my favorite NBA team the SPURS for winning the Western Conference Finals.

And to the San Antonio fans, Congratulations!

We’re all looking forward for the big win against the Pistons or Cavaliers.

SPURS has been an NBA Champion in 1999, 2003 & 2005 & has been a Western Conference Champion for the 4th time in eight years.

SPURS defense, team work and their shooting ability are the major factors in their win tonight.
Great job guys!

SPURS fans buy your Western Conference Champions T shirts & caps tomorrow or wait for the big win against the East.

JAZZ, better luck next time, good play, nice try.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Once Upon A Time - Unknown

Once upon a time in the kingdom of Heaven, God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael the Archangel found him, resting on the seventh day.

He inquired of God, "Where have you been?"God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made." Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said, "What is it?"."It's a planet," replied God, "and I've put Life on it. I'm going to call it EARTH and it's going to be a great place of balance.

""Balance?" inquired Michael, still confused God explained, pointing to different parts of earth. "For example,northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, but cold and harsh while southern Europe is going to be poor but sunny and pleasant." "I have made some lands abundant in water and other lands parched deserts. This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice.

"The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a group of islands and said, "What are those?" "Ah," said God. "That's the PHILIPPINES, the most glorious place on earth. There are beautiful beaches, rivers, mountains and forests. The people from the PHILIPPINES are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent and humorous and they are going to be found traveling the world. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking and high achieving, and they will be known throughout the world as carriers of peace and love."

Michael gasped in wonder and admiration but then proclaimed, "What about balance, God? You said there would be balance."God replied wisely, "Wait until you see the IDIOTS I put in the government !!!”

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

In Honor Of The Quintessential Companion - Jenny

Homo sapiens Mother and Mother Hen had one moment of reckoning. The former’s 4-year-old son wandered into their backyard, which was actually designated by Mother Hen to be her family’s territory. Like most animals, chickens are also objects of interest in storybooks; this landed Mother Hen and her brood in the prime spot mentioned. The boy’s parents raised them to show as much as possible, how some animals in storybooks appear in real life---a way of enhancing the children’s learning process. While Mother Hen was busy with a worm, her chicks played and practiced the use of their beaks. Unbeknown to her, the little boy, who was simply captivated by the image of the cutest chicks he saw in his storybooks, gently picked one up. All chicks chirped SOS. There was an oversight: His Mom forgot to add a reminder in her reading sessions with him, that mothers of all species have this natural, caring characteristic that knows no bounds. With a few flaps of her wings, Mother Hen was on the boy’s shoulder and had delivered a sharp peck or two. The boy’s scream horrified Homo sapiens Mother and both Mother species had the not-so-dark side of Motherhood got the better of them. When it was over, not a trace of rancour surfaced between species; both understood their roles and their implicit common goal. They would still meet and pass each other several times with concerted calm and poise.

The real event could have been a Kurt Vonnegut material and could be embellished in another manuscript with the Homo sapiens Mother badly hurt when Mother Hen’s beak landed on a Mother of a zit and an example of the colour red would put the little boy in therapy; and the pain it caused prompted Mother Nature to throw in the towel and so, rain trickled on them; and, which entire event would forever be among the sad experiences of the Homo sapiens Mother who left her Motherland much later for a country where urban life prohibits such nurturing of animals and where some mind-boggling Mother of challenges confronted her motherhood-----that would be shoddy and corny though, and Mother Oprah would be terribly dismayed should it land in her book club. However, it would emphasize, even in the tritest way, the empowering, strict, yet comforting and caring effect of the word, “Mother”. Imagine the actual role and the responsibilities it entails! For most, we know what it takes, and rightfully so, because in part, or more suitably as a whole, earth should have humans with good, solid foundation from which to build character and this starts from……until motherly possible and reasonably required. The use of the word has evolved, albeit figuratively, but it still denotes a distinct power and it commands an unspoken respect, not a modicum of it, mind you, that any slight or profanity directed to any mother, biological or otherwise, could incite trouble.

And there are verbs, adverbs and adjectives that should best describe our mothers and the sacred unspoken, unwritten pact they entered into with their children, with nature, with fellow humans and with God. Real-life scenarios render more concrete substance to these parts of speech:

I learned of a single lady who included in her prayers, that if God should see it fit that she be married, that she be kindly given a man who would be a good father to her offsprings, for whom she entreated with such sincere reliance on His mercy and love, to be good, God-loving, healthy, intelligent, good-mannered, responsible children. She even sought the intercession of the Blessed Mother. As she discussed this with bosom friends, she made it clear that she knew beforehand what she should do as mother in order to obtain such favour from God. She also explained that she was aware of factors beyond her control, which could negatively affect her efforts to bring up such children. The thought of a juvenile delinquent scared her to no end; therefore, she knew who to turn to. In line with this awareness and more likely a concern supported by love, I also learned of another mother who asked her daughter to consider single blessedness or marriage with no children because it would be terribly painful for both of them to see children brought up in a deteriorating world. Of course the cynics and skeptics would label this “selfish” without fully understanding the deeper meaning of maternal love and the true character of both women. Upon hearing this, I for one had a fleeting thought, but because I know the women, I succumbed to the wonders of motherly love.

The single lady actually got the entire package. Now, talk about rapport! Needless to say, she unceasingly continues to pray, rosaries and all, for her children’s safety and certainly for the success of their endeavours, with the fulfillment of their aspirations, found in just and good ways. The children are now adults and the lady mother has a new prayer. Characteristically thorough, she asked God, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mother Mary’s help again, for her children to be granted good, God-loving, healthy, intelligent, good-mannered, responsible, Roman Catholic spouses who would help rear good children as well.” What a stretch! To her surprise, these followed: Her daughter had a Roman Catholic boyfriend who did not practice his faith. They parted amicably without third-party intervention. The next boyfriend is a very decent, loving, good-mannered, highly educated, very considerate, well-balanced, highly intelligent atheist. Her son’s serious girlfriend is of another religion, but, both are getting along happily. The rest of the children have not yet found their supposed soul mates. The lady mother, though perplexed, but without any ill-feeling, respected the daughter’s and son’s choices. She promptly changed her prayer, deleting the “Roman Catholic” portion and adding, “Should they be of different faith, bless them still O Lord, that they, and their children and their children’s children would live peaceful, happy, safe, healthy, comfortable, prosperous lives and let them not forget to help others.” My, if the mother can only physically live forever, so many prayers will probably land in “stampitas”. But who’s to define a mother’s love in mere parts and figures of speech; who’s to know where and when mother’s love end?

I couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of a mother, quite garrulous in most topics, but dumbfounded when asked by a confused son, about some details on sex. He said he didn’t quite get the specifics. She cringed, she looked up, wished her husband were around to take over, she impulsively wish for a pluvial downpour, an easy way out she thought. Time stopped and the suspense was riveting; she finally took a grip and faced the challenge. I overheard her whisper some facts, with an assuring promise to continue the topic at home. The boy held her hand and said, “You’re the best, Mom.”

Pity the mother who lays sleepless in the night for failing to meet some standards of Motherhood. Guilt is never a good companion. Somebody has to remind her; she is no God, nor a demi one either; accountants, doctors, lawyers and engineers hold degrees and still, mistakes are everywhere --- what more a mother whose entire work is not exclusive in any university prospectus.

There is another mother, a career woman, who sought the advice of a respectable pediatrician regarding baby food; she wanted the best for her baby. She was shocked by what she requested: pulverized, cooked, with no oil or any liquid, dried anchovies, blended into “lugaw” and alternately scheduled on feeding days with pig’s brain similarly cooked in “lugaw”, and/or scheduled as well with mashed or finely minced vegetables. And there should be the daily “kalamansi” juice. And of course, the daily bath. With her office work, the temptation to just grab commercial baby foods was too attractive. Motherly love prevailed and so there were countless bond paper, which became an accessory to obtain that pulverized dried anchovies, and which also led to another use of a hammer. And needless to say, there were also numerous days of grimacing while buying and preparing the pig’s brain.

How sweet of a mother who agreed to go shopping for the impeccable birthday gift her son wanted her to pick for that captivating teenage girl in class. And when it was her daughter’s turn to declare her object of infatuation, she was likewise sought for her wise opinion.

And I learned of a mother who cried endlessly when upon giving birth, she could not take home her mysteriously sick infant. Her heart longed for her, and more so, every time she saw a baby. When seen holding somebody else’s child during the period of her infant’s hospitalization, one could envision some Mother of a container of tears in a woman’s body. As if this was not enough, the infant had to be operated on with a realistic 50 survival rate and years of tedious, expensive care. With no second thoughts and dismissing an alternate advice, she immediately nodded to the procedure not knowing that the ultimate pain was already prancing around her heart. At exactly 32 days after the infant was born, and like a thief in the night, the unimaginable pain invaded her heart. I guess it was so terrible that she said she won’t even wish it to any foe and the loss actually made her angry at God. “Terrible” is an understatement actually, because there’s nothing like the pain of a mother losing a child. At the end, she mellowed and thought what it must have been for the universal Mother named Mary, who even with having the closest rapport with God, had to endure the horrible sight of a suffering Son and His death only a few could comprehend.

I could not forget the mother who sacrificed a promising career and had an option of a comfortable retirement pay due just within three years at the time she decided to be a full-time mother. She figured it was time to instill more discipline, and structure a learning method geared towards responsible personal, social development and academic success. So, she effectively taught her child of 3, with great consideration for her youth, reading, writing, simple arithmetic, and basic social grace and etiquette. Religion was not neglected. She did the same for the next ones. As the children grew, lessons became elaborate. There were no regrets for the career that slipped away.

I was enthused by a headline that declared a mother’s sacrifice of handing her own malevolent son to the police. It was a given that the Mother of a container of tears was once more at play in this heart-wrenching situation. She has done everything to no avail; I bet she realized what her son’s demeanour portends and she was reminded of her pact with God, with other humans, with nature and with her son. What a contrast this was to the mother who unknowingly remained standing and clapping, while others have stopped, when her son finished his valedictory speech! And what an emphasis, when the next son gave her the same joy! Similarly so, for the mother, who because of humble roots, never had thought that a daughter would be so applauded as she masterfully delivered a difficult piano piece in the company of professors, musicians and scholars, in a well-respected venue and she, seemingly, silently floated with the accolades.

I have great admiration for single mothers, whether with a brood or just a child, who raised such well-directed children despite all odds. Picture a mother, with nine children and with an assassinated husband! Where, when, how do you pick up the pieces and proceed with life in such circumstances? And the mother who strives hard to care, nurture and provide for a daughter while reliving daily the death of her husband by seeing suffering patients who barely miss death or who are actually at its mercy. She has never showed pain and instead, continues to help others, relatives, nieces for tuition fees, and poor people, not one of whom she could put a face. Similarly, I say “kudos” to the badly-beaten mother, who stood up, took on the father’s role and refused to give up hope for the sake of a son. She educated herself while maintaining her dignity, landed respectable jobs with no help from anybody, did not acquiesce to unethical practices of pretentious co-workers, helped others too, and then……….got what she deserved: a son who graduated valedictorian and on full scholarship into university, respect from everybody, and friends who will forever be there for her.

And there was a mother who even in the company of death, did not forget her children. A visit to her oldest daughter on interment day seemed the only way to tell her to take good care of the youngest sibling in the family of eight. She did visit her again one very tiring day of handling chores and toddlers. Daughter fell asleep in a couch without the husband’s knowledge. Her husband was awakened by the sound of the phone that fell. Upon seeing her in the couch, he carefully helped her to the bedroom. Daughter remembered the next day that she somehow saw, while half asleep or not, she couldn’t be sure, her Mama accidentally hitting the phone when she walked passed her in the couch. The husband’s jaw dropped.

And many a mother would offer their lives so that their children would live and have their dreams fulfilled. There are also those who offer God in gratitude, the happiness enjoyed in having all children around in the simplest of activities and discussions.

These are our mothers; their stories may be different, but the verbs, adverbs, adjectives and figures of speech are the same for the transparency of their purposes, sacrifices, emotions, and humanity. To all mothers, by blood and by unselfish, dedicated service to children,