Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some explaining to do

Two major events took place in my life recently, explaining my absence from the blogosphere for quite a while.

For friends who visited this site and cared to drop by even for just a few minutes, my thanks to you.  Allow me to give the reason behind my semi-Sabbatical.

First, I got myself a dog.  Actually this is my second time to get one.  

My first dog, which I got around three years ago, was a cross between a golden retriever dad and a terrier mom.  I named him Andy.  Andy inherited his dad's build and so at a mere three months of age he was quite large for me to handle.  Sadly, I had to ask a male cousin of mine (who shares with me a love for animals) to take care of him.  I had no doubt that Andy was well taken cared of by my cousin and his family.  When we had a chance to gather, he would tell me how he takes care of Andy and how Andy enjoys the life at the suburb with a family.

Andy went home to animal heaven a few months ago after living a happy life.

My new dog is a Shih Tzu.  When I let Andy go, I have decided to get a small breed dog next time - the reason I got William Cody. 

I met him first outside the mall which is situated at the heart of this city.  Cody is among those puppies sold at the bangketa at the foot of the overpass, a perfect spot exposed to all the elements, namely, dust, smoke from cigarette smokers who pass by, smoke from vehicles, water when it rains, and the scorching heat of the sun.

Before I met him, I have been burning the midnight candle on the internet, browsing through sites which advertise pets for sale.  I was even tempted to get a chihuahua but somehow that did not push through.

Not until I saw William Cody that hot Sunday morning.

I just finished doing my grocery at the nearby supermarket when I asked B to accompany me to visit that spot outside the supermarket where dogs are displayed and are for sale.  She agreed and so we went.

Then there was Cody.  I felt that if I could read his mind each time a prospective buyer approaches them, it would have been something like he had to give his best shot and display his sweetest gesture, so he would be scooped out from the crowd of puppies that he was in, and forever be free from the dog seller.

Cody did just that.  He was standing on top of a cage and it amazed me then that he stayed put and never attempted to jump from the cage to the ground below.   (I realized later that it was because he is just a baby and did not even know how to jump from the cage down.)  He looked up to me with those big black eyes and tried to capture my scent by sniffing as much as he could.  When I reached out to touch him, he cradled his head in the palm of my hand, as if savoring the first time his coat and my skin touched, and as if saying, "At last you have arrived and you found me."

He just stole my heart without the slightest effort, and so I brought him home  with me approximately half an hour from the time we first met.  He will be three months old next week but his size is equivalent to that of Andy's when Andy was yet a month old.

The second major event had to do with my family.  I attended the 8th Grand Reunion of the ABLA Clan which was held in Malimono, Surigao del Norte. 

ABLA actually stands for the names of my great grandparents, Antonio Bonotan and Lorenza Ave.  They had five daughters and my grandmother was one of them.  Our reunion is held every two years and it is just amazing to ponder that each and every member of our clan really tries his/her very best to find time to attend the reunion. 

My great grandparents started out and built their family in this sleepy town in Surigao del Norte called Malimono.  Unfortunately, the place has not changed much since the time of my great grandparents.  I feel that it is still as sleepy as it was before and sometimes I am tempted to think that the government has forgotten this place and its people.  The roads are a patchwork of the concrete and of the rough undeveloped type.  Not all of the households have electricity and the water supply is straight from springs.  Wifi is almost never heard of here and only a chosen few have a mobile phone which is an ordinary luxury for the urbanized.

However in spite of all those technological drawbacks, my relatives, who come from all over the archipelago, and a handful scattered around the globe, still pack their bags to fly or sail or ride their way here, the land of our forefathers.  Malimono has its spell working on all of us - and Cody is not an exception.

I sailed to Surigao overnight with Cody in tow, then even before the break of dawn, we rode on a jeepney for an hour, to go to Malimono where the reunion was held, particularly at Punta Beach, an untouched paradise on this side of the world, which holds a lot of memories for the ABLA Clan - I will tell you why very soon.

This is the explanation that I feel I owe all of you.  Next time, let me explain it all to you again, not only in words, but this time, in pictures. 

Thank you my dear friends and followers.



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The elections and all that jazz

While the rest of the Filipino people were on their toes when May 10, 2010 made a grand entrance, I was staring at a bleeding uterus. (Which this time had a baby inside it, whew!) 

As usual, I was stuck at the hospital but in spite of being confined within the walls of the Operating Theater, the upcoming elections, which was then just a few hours away, still managed to manifest its presence, or shall I say, its reality, sometimes even overpowering the the smell of fresh blood oozing out from the arteries of the uterus which we have just finished slicing.

We peppered our sutures and incisions with conversations about the upcoming elections and while we were busy doing so, an unusually long line of customers were outside the burger joint which stands in front of the hospital.  This is an unusual scene because this happened hours after midnight - a glaring proof that people somehow had a lot of money to burn that time, and if you are Filipino, you would know why, although we do not openly talk about it.

Here is my take on the drama of Philippine politics after the historic and first ever automated elections.

1.   A lot of glitches hounded the voters and the volunteers at the voting precincts.  The system of voting was quite disorganized and even the set-ups at the precincts added to the problem.  I hope that the next automated elections will be more organized. 

2.  The Noy-Bi tandem is leading as I write this entry.  I admire the statesmanship exhibited by Sen. Manny Villar, Defense Secretary Gibo Teodoro, and Sen. Dick Gordon, when they all conceded to Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.  With the situation that our country is in today, we do not need sour losers.

3.   I am waiting for Erap to concede though.  Noynoy already has a commanding lead with Erap as far second.  It really surprised me in the first place that Erap came in second.  What the hell is this Erap Magic, that it makes people forget that this old man has been a president of this country before but was kicked out by virtue of People Power?  Filipinos easily forget that this guy was charged with plunder and was placed behind bars for that.  I would have made a sigh of relief if Gibo came in second.  But Erap? Wadap----!!!  If Erap wins again, surely our country will be the laughing stock of the world.  So, please beh!

4.  Now that Villar has conceded, where in the world is airhead Willie Revillame?  I personally believe that he made such a blatant display of arrogance on national television because there was some kind of power backing him up.  He was disillusioned - big time - that Villar could make it to the presidency.  He was disillusioned that the network management would beg on their knees and stop him from resigning and would immediately fire that journalist who was just doing his job at being critical about television programs, including that of Revillame's.  What now, Willie Revillame?  To ABS-CBN, I hope they just move on and not expect Revillame to make a come back because if he does that, it would entail humbling himself which is an enormous task for the egomaniacal person that he is.  The network better give it a try and groom Pokwang for the position.  Like Revillame, she comes from the poor, but unlike him, both her feet are firm on the ground.  Aside from that, she has a soft heart because she is a woman - a soft yet strong heart, or else she could not have survived what she'd been through before she became what she is now.

5.   I hope Noynoy does not let go of Gibo and decides to give his cousin a position in his cabinet.  Gibo is such a brilliant person that it would be a waste to let him go and deprive the Filipinos of his brilliance. Gibo for me is still his cousin's close competitor for the presidency, only that he is in the wrong party with the wrong people.  If given the chance to speak to him, I would tell him, "Sir, don't give up on your aim for the presidency and don't give up on the Filipino people.  You will definitely have your chance."

6.  The race for the second highest seat of the land, the Vice-Presidency, has never caught so much attention like it is doing now, in the political and democratic history of the Philippines.  In the past months, Sen. Mar Roxas III has dominated the surveys, however, the partial election results show that he is only tailing close second to Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay.  This surprised everbody especially Binay's family who did not even believe that their patriarch would do good in the polls. Although a bit surprised with his lead, still it was only Binay himself who believed he could win this fight, amidst his own family's disbelief.  The ad "Kay Binay gaganda ang buhay," might have worked for the former mayor.  I personally believe that Binay is capable for the job but my heart is also broken for Roxas who made a great sacrifice by stepping down on his aim for the presidency to give way to Aquino. 

7.  If Binay wins, I believe he could work hand in hand with Aquino.  I think we could count on Binay to assist Aquino in whatever way he can because he recognizes that he will not be where and what he is now today if not for the support given to him by no other than the mother of Sen. Aquino, Former President Corazon Aquino.  Sana nga, gaganda ang buhay kay Binay.  Sana, ganito rin sa buong Pilipinas, hindi lang sa Makati.

8.   It appears that circuses are in the making at the House of the Senate and at the House of the Representatives.  For the Senate, I could not believe that Bong Revilla is topping the list.  Jinggoy Estrada, Tito Sotto (an Erap supporter who jumped into Arroyo's side), and Lito Lapid are also within the Top 12.  I could only shake my head.  Tsk, tsk.  For the House of Representatives, we have something to watch out for since Former First Lady Imelda Marcos has won a seat for her bailiwick  Ilocos Norte.  Gloria Arroyo is leading the polls in her Pampanga province, and last but not the list, Lucy Torres is coming in too, along with Manny Pacquiao.  OMG! You know.. 

9.  For our first automated elections, we all deserve a tap on the back because we did fairly well.  There's still a lot of room for improvement though but we deserve all the congratulatory remarks, especially the volunteers, the teachers who had to stomach all the ire of the voters at the precincts, the media, and everybody else who in their own little way contributed to the success of this elections.

10.  For those who have won the race and will soon be proclaimed, always remember that with great power comes a great responsibility.  The people gave you a chance to serve them.  Once you take your oath of office, the high dies down with the applause, and so begins your turn to execute what is called servant leadership.  Prove to the people that they were not mistaken in electing you into position. Prove to them that you have good intentions for this country and its people.  Prove to us that indeed, this election heralds the beginning of change. 


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