Axl Rose Seeks to Strip Internet of ‘Fat’ Meme — Newsfeed – TIME


The legendary Guns n’ Roses frontman wants to spiff up his Internet image. The rocker has issued a takedown request with Google for a concert photo of him onstage at a show in Winnipeg, Canada in 2010. In the photo, a performing Rose is wearing a partially unbuttoned shirt and red bandana around his forehead,…

via Axl Rose Seeks to Strip Internet of ‘Fat’ Meme — Newsfeed – TIME

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If: It’s Powerful


WILBERT LAFORTEZA

If: It’s Powerful
By: Wilbert C. Laforteza

What word do you can think can weaken the word “trust”? Well, very simple, it’s only a two-letter-word but it’s mighty that it has done much change on humanity. Scads of people quarrel because of the word “if”. Why? It’s because of misinterpretations or misconceptions behind it. Most people don’t know the virtue of the word “if” because they’re simply contented that what they can only see is what they believe in. Oftentimes, some associate “if” to mistrust in the existing belief and the existing rule. Some feel that they are betrayed in their standards when somebody would confront using “if”.

Frankly, most scientists are successful because they solidly rely on “if”.
From this, they are able to experiment with trial and errors and are able to perfect an experiment because of being curious with “if”. This allows them to exert or extend…

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Twilight: Mundanes in a Shanty


  Image

Twilight: Mundanes in a Shanty

Serenity aloft the water’s pristine lay
Sham of simplicity rakes the day
As twilight cuddles the darkness
Light flicks to paint hope in life.

Reverie brings opulence
Grandiose stature may be reached
Glamorous castles shall be owned
Yet, all are imaginations while in a shanty.

Rich men shall see what is ours
Shall experience living in scraps
In a messy creek soaked in poverty
In a place cannot even be called our property.

Despondence shall take no virulence
So humility be replaced with holocaust
Simple life and dream shall be the only possession
Yet, dignity is preserved in such adversary.

Who’s to blame for impoverished fate?
Decision? Ours or theirs?
Why not pick misery or prosperity?
What defines the beauty of a mansion and a shanty?

No less than the gleam of optimism
In a lighted abode sublimes
Wrecked is the house…not fiery as is
But, who lives in perhaps are disciples of love.

Commoners reflect common Filipinos
Housed in murky waters of aghast
Still, humility is not forgotten…
So to speak…cites a modest national status.#

By: Wilbert Laforteza

***This is the copy of the draft. The final copy of the poem isn’t returned yet. Final copy is kept for record.
Author’s Sharing: Prior to the writing process, a picture was shown having a poor boy sitting beside a shanty house’s window. It was twilight. There is a faintly glowing light inside the house built over a creek. After taking a glance of the picture, we were ordered to write a poem in 60 minutes…a complete poem from draft, second draft, and final copy. I decided to write a quatrain free verse poem. It was difficult to create a lovely poem in a time-frame and thematic basis but I did as compared to other writers who wrote shorter or the like poems but spent months or years over them.

 ***Note: This poem won 2nd place in the held Higher Education Regional Press Conference last 2011 at Batis Aramin Hotel, Lucban Quezon. Thus, qualifying yours truly to the Luzonwide Press Conference held this year, 2012, at Balanga City, Bataan.

***I acknowledge the owner or photographer and the boy in the photo I used. I grabbed it in Google images: http://www.google.com.ph/imgres?q=basura+boy&um=…

 

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Scented Mirth


Scented Mirth

Generosity and compassion are the traits that could be inseparable to a person with a good heart. This could be a manifestation of the involvements I had during the summer activities I went through; the Holy Week and the Kateki-Zamer.
I was hesitant on the onset of the activities for in fact I’m quite afar and I have to gamble with unpredictable trips of jeepneys in our “sitio” in Bgy. Tinga Itaas (border of Soro-soro) and as well the scorching heat of the summer. If jeepneys’ trips faltered, then, I have to ride on a tricycle paying exorbitant fares. Well, in God’s mercy, I went through it successfully. I was thinking that those simple conflicts were only trials that tried how determined I was in those trying days. Later on, I reflected and realized that perhaps things meant to happen like tricks…in the beginning they’re difficult and for sure in the end is very rewarding.
On the face of the uprising activities, I continued my mission…to join the religious activities for everyone’s sake. In the recent Kateki-Zamer, there I met various children that are products of different family upbringings. There I met the most “rude boy” Joben.
During the first day, God perhaps destined me to have a close encounter with a person of great spiritual need. I could clearly recall the statement emphasized during a retreat I attended, “there is something good in you” in the Parable of the Pencil. Yes, it was a tricky game. On the first day, the boy tried to escape to come home while the class is ongoing. I made all my best to convince him to return. Minutes I spent, I did not surrender. At last, he returned…same thing I did to other boy like Jomar, both did similar things on the succeeding days.
Rude he was, Joben, I got a chance to talked with him personally. He admitted that he was hungry, he beg alms, has a gambler-father, have five siblings, and many more. His revelations were slaps in my personality…similar pain refreshed for we had a similar childhood experience. Unknowingly, I’m innocent of the goodness behind his rude mask of behavior. In a snack time, he set aside his snacks (drinks and breads) then preferred to play. I asked why he won’t eat for the meantime. He told me that those snacks will be for his siblings, he will bring them home. It was a shock how thoughtful the boy is…I never expected it. Truly, though how naughty a person is, still, there is a hidden goodness in him. I was touched with that attitude…for the thoughtfulness he has for his siblings. He set aside the food not for himself but his siblings…though the foods are in his hands, still, he sacrificed not to eat them.
The richness of one’s behavior can’t be measured by mere staring on one’s personal appearances. As the saying says, “don’t judge the cover of the book.” A person with untidy appearance could be the best person ever you met during the day. A person with foolish manner could be the person who helps you during a certain trial. The one whom you ever doubted could be the person who defies you from misconceptions. We never know…behind dirty faces are luminous souls inside, good hearts within, and a profound principle embedded.
Like the mirth on our face, it seem simply a dirt in far gaze. Little we know, perhaps some of these mirth could be the finest, who knows these could be specks of powdered golds? In this fruitful encounter, I’ll always cherish the spiritual learning I had…be unselfish! #

Minimithi (Desiderata translation)


Minimithi
Ni: Max Ehrmann
Isinalin ni: Wilbert C. Laforteza

Sumuong ng mahinahon sa gitna ng ingay at pagmamadali
At alalahanin kung anong kapayapaan ang maaring meron sa katahimikan,
Hangga’t maari’y huwag sumuko
Gawing maayos ang pakikitungo sa lahat ng mga tao
Ihayag mo ang katotohanan ng malumanay at malinaw,
At makinig sa mga iba, kahit sa pulpol at mangmang;
Sila din ay may sariling kuwento.
Iwasan ang maiingay at mababalasik na mga tao,
Sila ay panirang-puri sa kabanalan.
Kung ihambing mo ang sarili sa iba
Maaari kang maging hambog at mainis; sa kadalasan
Mayroong mas nakakahigit at mas kapos-palad na mga tao kaysa iyo.
Namnamin ang iyong mga tagumpay at gayundin ang iyong mga balakin
Tangkilikin mo ang iyong sariling trabaho, gayunman ay magpakumbaba.
Ito’y tunay na kayamanan sa nagbabagong mga kapalaran ng panahon.
Ugaliing mag-ingat sa iyong mga ugnayang pang-trabaho.
Dahil ang mundo ay puno ng panlilinlang.
Subalit huwag kang mabulag sa kabutihang-asal na taglay
Maraming tao ang nagsusumikap para sa matayog na mga mithiin;
At saan man dako, ang buhay ay puno ng kabayanihan.
Magpaka-ikaw ka. Lalong-lalo, huwag magkunwari sa nararamdaman
Ni hindi man mangutya sa pag-ibig;
Sapagkat sa harap ng lahat ng mga kawalang-sigla at kabiguan
Mas pangmatagalan pa kaysa sa damo.
Tanggapin ng magiliw ang payo ng mga taon,
Mabikas mong isuko ang kagamitan ng kabataan.
Pag-ibayuhin ang lakas ng espirito para sanggahan ka sa mga biglaang pagkasawi
Ngunit huwag balisahin ang iyong sarili ng mga kahibangan.
Maraming mga takot ay idinulot ng kapaguran at karilagan.
Ikaw ay ang anak ng sansinukob.
Na walang iba kundi ang mga puno at mga bituin.
May karapatan ka para tumira dito.
Walang duda na ang sansinukob ay namumukadkad na kanyang dapat gawin.
Dahil dito, maging panatag ka sa iyong Panginoon
Anuman iyong naisin nawa’y ikaloob Niya,
Sa anuman inyong gawain, at mga hangarin.
Sa maingay na kalituhan sa buhay,
Maging mapayapa ka at ng iyong kaluluwa.
Sa lahat ng kanyang pagkukunwari, pagkalumbay at sirang mga pangarap,
Nananatili pa ring maganda ang daigdig.
Maging maligaya ka. Sikapin mo maging masaya.

If: It’s Powerful


If: It’s Powerful
By: Wilbert C. Laforteza

What word do you can think can weaken the word “trust”? Well, very simple, it’s only a two-letter-word but it’s mighty that it has done much change on humanity. Scads of people quarrel because of the word “if”. Why? It’s because of misinterpretations or misconceptions behind it. Most people don’t know the virtue of the word “if” because they’re simply contented that what they can only see is what they believe in. Oftentimes, some associate “if” to mistrust in the existing belief and the existing rule. Some feel that they are betrayed in their standards when somebody would confront using “if”.

Frankly, most scientists are successful because they solidly rely on “if”.
From this, they are able to experiment with trial and errors and are able to perfect an experiment because of being curious with “if”. This allows them to exert or extend curiosity on other matters that would likely expand the limited knowledge they have.

Simply thinking and analyzing, do you think ships exist today if the ancient people didn’t think of crossing the seas? Formulating hypothesis always allows the ‘if’ on any statement. This simple word serves as the guidepost to anticipate what possible thing will happen in the future. Future? Yes, it’s definitely future and in relevance to the present and past. “If” is frequently associated to what’s incoming…it’s a tool of anticipating future situations that should be readied. “Be prepared!” as what the boy scouts say…these men truly anticipate whatever situations may arise and be ready for any strategies.

Have you ever tried reflecting on a certain act which you did? Then, recall…have you ever tried asking this way: “if I failed to do that and then I’ll be…” or “if I only did that then…” For sure, it’s then you’ll realize how important the word “if” is. In decision making, a healthy decision is a product of “if”. This tiny word is the soul of decision-making, settling strategies, giving justice and analyzing conditions. “If” tolerates creative and analytic thinking…it enables someone to think of new strategies and witty ways. It also drives a person away from foolishness because it’s a tool to forecast the possible outcomes of a flattery.

The weak point of “if” is that it prescribes skepticism to a person who is not used to be “madiskarte”. It weakens relationships, too. It dilutes trust for it suggests an alternative if the other partner will interpret the other way round. Yes, it’s aching to hear a partner asking, “what if we’ll break?”, “what if I’m dead”, “what if I have another lover” but it helps a lot to ready anyone for the worst or for the best! In reality, “if” suggests an alternative and preparedness but it doesn’t necessarily mean a kit for unfaithfulness. “If” gives the quick decisions to emergencies and cultivates resourcefulness in crisis.

Don’t worry for “if” is just a church bell…it’s a word that serves as the bell for all situations! Once it rings in your mind then there must be a response…it’s your choice that will throw you in any fate. Furthermore, I urge that everyone to take the right steps in acting a certain pace as required by the “if” for an err can’t erase a failure even the person cries even if you’ll cries over a spilled milk!
“If” is mighty! So, to live wholesome, remember to ponder on this in everything you do, “what if you’ll gain… or you’ll fail?” #

>If: It’s Powerful


>If: It’s Powerful
By: Wilbert C. Laforteza

What word do you can think can weaken the word “trust”? Well, very simple, it’s only a two-letter-word but it’s mighty that it has done much change on humanity. Scads of people quarrel because of the word “if”. Why? It’s because of misinterpretations or misconceptions behind it. Most people don’t know the virtue of the word “if” because they’re simply contented that what they can only see is what they believe in. Oftentimes, some associate “if” to mistrust in the existing belief and the existing rule. Some feel that they are betrayed in their standards when somebody would confront using “if”.

Frankly, most scientists are successful because they solidly rely on “if”.
From this, they are able to experiment with trial and errors and are able to perfect an experiment because of being curious with “if”. This allows them to exert or extend curiosity on other matters that would likely expand the limited knowledge they have.

Simply thinking and analyzing, do you think ships exist today if the ancient people didn’t think of crossing the seas? Formulating hypothesis always allows the ‘if’ on any statement. This simple word serves as the guidepost to anticipate what possible thing will happen in the future. Future? Yes, it’s definitely future and in relevance to the present and past. “If” is frequently associated to what’s incoming…it’s a tool of anticipating future situations that should be readied. “Be prepared!” as what the boy scouts say…these men truly anticipate whatever situations may arise and be ready for any strategies.

Have you ever tried reflecting on a certain act which you did? Then, recall…have you ever tried asking this way: “if I failed to do that and then I’ll be…” or “if I only did that then…” For sure, it’s then you’ll realize how important the word “if” is. In decision making, a healthy decision is a product of “if”. This tiny word is the soul of decision-making, settling strategies, giving justice and analyzing conditions. “If” tolerates creative and analytic thinking…it enables someone to think of new strategies and witty ways. It also drives a person away from foolishness because it’s a tool to forecast the possible outcomes of a flattery.

The weak point of “if” is that it prescribes skepticism to a person who is not used to be “madiskarte”. It weakens relationships, too. It dilutes trust for it suggests an alternative if the other partner will interpret the other way round. Yes, it’s aching to hear a partner asking, “what if we’ll break?”, “what if I’m dead”, “what if I have another lover” but it helps a lot to ready anyone for the worst or for the best! In reality, “if” suggests an alternative and preparedness but it doesn’t necessarily mean a kit for unfaithfulness. “If” gives the quick decisions to emergencies and cultivates resourcefulness in crisis.

Don’t worry for “if” is just a church bell…it’s a word that serves as the bell for all situations! Once it rings in your mind then there must be a response…it’s your choice that will throw you in any fate. Furthermore, I urge that everyone to take the right steps in acting a certain pace as required by the “if” for an err can’t erase a failure even the person cries even if you’ll cries over a spilled milk!
“If” is mighty! So, to live wholesome, remember to ponder on this in everything you do, “what if you’ll gain… or you’ll fail?” #

>Bao ng Pagbabago


>

BAO NG PAGBABAGO
ni: Wilbert C. Laforteza
Ang pagmamahal, pagmamalasakit at sakripisyo ng isang magulang ay isang habang-buhay na utang – na – loob sakanya ng kanyang anak. Nararapat lang na suklian ito ng anak  anak ng mabubuting asal at matiyagang pag-aaruga sa  pagdatal ng panahon na sila naman ang magangailangan ng kalinga. Ngunit ang gawaing ito bilang isang pagtanaw ng utang – na – loob ay nagagawa nating lahat? Tunghayan natin ang kwento ng pamilyang Castillo ng Baryo San Vicente.
Isang umaga ng Biyernes, ika – 17 ng Pebrero 2004, habang nag – nagaalmusal ang pamilyang Castillo, nabigla si Mario ng sabihan siya ng kanyang amang si Mang Lando.
“Mario, magmula ngayon…binabalaan kita, huwag na huwag mo nang hanapin ang iyong Lolo Esteba…” ang sabi sakanya.
“Bakit po Itay?” ang mayuming tanong ni Mario.
“Huwag ka nang magtanong at wala kanga lam, okey?!” ang malakas na sagot ni Mang Lando.
 Nagmula noong umagang iyon ay hindi na muling nakita ni Mario si Lolo Esteban sa kanilang bahay.
Anim na taong –gulang pa lamang si Mario noon ngunit napapansin na niya ang unti – unting pagbabago ng kanyang ama. Naging malamig ang pakiramdam nito kay Lolo Esteban at laging binubulyawan ang matanda. Naglalaro tuloy sa murang isipan ni Mario ang tanong na kung ano ang dahilan at bakit ganun na lamang ang pakikitungo ng kanyang ama sa Lolo Esteban niya.
Dalawang buwan ang nakalipas, Abril na noon at bakasyon na ay hindi parin nakakabalik si Lolo Esteban sa kanila. Sabik na sabik na siya sakanyang lolo at malungkot parati dahil wala na siyang makasama tuwing gusto nitong makipaglaro ng patintero at pingpong sa kapitbahay nilang sina Jojo at Janno. Wala narin siyang taga – kwento ng mga samu’t saring mga alamat at kwentong – bayan, taga – turo ng tula at mga katutubong mga wait. Nasasabik narin si Mario sa mga yapos ng lolo sa tuwing pinapatulog ito sa mga gabing wala ang kanyang amang si Mang Lando at ang kanyang inang si Aling Celia.
Sa tuwing bago matulog si Mario, di siya nakakalimot na magdasal at ito ay turo sakanya ni Lolo Esteban.
“Lord, salamat sa biyayang ipinagkaloob po Ninyo. Lord, sana po makita ko na po si Lolo Esteban…lagi po Ninyo siya alagaan ha? Nawa’y huwag po Ninyo siya payagang magkasakit….Amen.” ang madalas na bulong ni Mario tuwing nagdadasal.
Buwan na ng Mayo ay wala parin si Lolo Esteban kaya malungkot parin si Mario at tila naiinip na. Sa susunod na buwn ay Grade – I na siya ngunit baka hindi at masilayan ng kanyang lolo ang unang araw sa  kanyang pagpasok sa  eskwelahan.
Isang araw, huling Sabado noon ng Mayo, ipinasyal si Mario ng kanyang pinsang si Ate Teresa. Doon sila namasyal sa parke malapit lamang sa paaralan ng San Vicente Elementary School. Tamang – tama at nagkaroon din ng pagkakataon si Mario upang masulyapan ang eskwelahan na kanyang papasukan sa sussunod na pasukan.
“Ate, maganda po ba yung school namin?” tanong ni Mario?
“Oo naman, bukod sa maganda ay high –tech pa…maraming computerized systems doon.” tugon naman ni Ate Teresa.
Maya –maya ay umupo ang dakawa sa isang bench sa parke.
“Ate, saan po kaya si Lolo Esteban?” tanong ni Mario.
“Ah, bakit mo ba tinatanong? Meron bang problema?” ang tanong naman ni Ate Teresa.
“Kse po si Itay, binabawalan po ako magpakita kay lolo tapos wala na po si lolo sa bahay…” ang sagot ni Mario na tila naguguluhan.
“Mario, wag kang mag-alala, tiyak okey lang ang Lolo Esteban mo.”, paliwanag ni Ate Teresa.
Napatango na lamang si Mario kahit di pa kuntento sa sagot ng pinsan.
Dumating ang ika – 7 ng Hunyo, unang pasok ni Mario noon sa San Vicente Elementary School. Si Aling Celia ang naghatid sakanya noon. Nagkatotoo nga na hindi nga masisilayan ni Lolo Esteban  ang unang araw sa pagpasok sa eskwelahan ni Mario…
“Anak, pakabait ka diyan ha, ditto na lamang ako sa lalabas at susunduin na lang kita maya – maya pag magsiuwian na kayo”, bilin ni Aling Celia.
“Opo Inay”, ang tugon ni Mario hakbang pahakbang ito sa hagdan paakyat sa koridor ng school.
Makalipas ang ilang buwan, dati si Aling Celia pa ang tagahatid ngunit ngayon ay napalitan na ng yaya…si Yaya Wenda. Mabait at maalagain si Yaya Wenda kaya madaling nagka-bonding sila ni Mario. Siya na ang tagahatid-sundo ni Mario sa halos araw-araw mula ng namasukan siya kina Aling Celia.
Ika-17 ng Disyembre 2004 noon, isang surpresang balita ang nasambit ni Yaya Wenda kay Mario.
“Mario, Alam ko na kung saan si Lolo Esteban. Huwag mong isumbong na sinabi ko sa iyo ha? Baka malintikan tayo ng iyong Inay at Itay…” pakiusap ni Yaya Wenda.
‘Eh saan po?” tanong ni Mario?
“Sa bahay kubo sa bukid, Aplaya.” sagot ni Yaya Wenda.
“Basta gawa ako ng paraan, huwag ka lang magsasabi sa iyong Inay at Itay ha? baka kse mabuko tayo.”, pahabol ni Yaya Wenda.
“Kinabukasan ay araw ng Sabado, umaga, ipinagpaalam ni Yaya Wenda si Mario para ipamasyal lang muna sa Bayan.
“Ate Celia, nagyayakag po kse si Mario…gusto daw po mamasyal sa Bayan, maari po bang pahintulutan ninyo?” pakiusap ni Yaya Wenda kay Aling Celia.
“Oh sige, naiinip narin ang batang yan at walang kalaro eh. Tawagin ninyo muna si Crispin para samahan kayo, gamitin niyo yung isang kotse.” ang tugon naman ni Aling Celia sabay abot ng tatlong libung piso para baon nila Mario.
Maya – maya’y dumating na si Crispin at inihanda na ang Ford. Pagkalabas sa garahe’y sumakay narin sina Yaya Wenda at Mario. Alam na ni Crispin ang pakay nila pagkat nag- usap na sina Crispin at Yaya Wenda noong nakaraan gabi sa balak nilang gawin.
“Kuya Crispin, yung usapan natin ha…walang magsusumbong, period!” sabi ni Wenda.
“Okey, okey, gets na gets ko na iyon.” sagot naman nito na may kasama pang flying kiss.
“Hmmmp, yucks!” ang tila nadidiring sabi ni Yaya Wenda.
“Tara na nga, suplada!” wika ni Crispin.
Chug! Chug! Chug! Vroooom! Vrooom…brooooom…
Umalis na ang kotse at deretsong tinahak ang kalsada patungung bukid ng Aplaya imbes na patungong Bayan. Hindi mapakali si Mario at tila hindi makaghintay upang makarating sa kanilang paroroonan.
Halos apatnapung minuto siguro lang nakalipas at narating na nila ang bahay kubo ni Lolo Esteban sa Aplaya. Isang matanda agn sumalubong sa kanila, siya na si Lolo Esteban, ang 78 taon – gulang na lolo ni Mario. Kaarawan din niya sa mismong araw na iyon ng Disyembre 18, ang ika-78 taong gulang ni LoloEsteban.
Mabilis na bumaba sa Ford si Mario pagkatigil ng sasakyan at mabilis itong nagtatakbo pasalubong sa kanyang lolo.
“Lolo! Lolo! Huhuhu…” napaiyak sa galak si Mario.
Isang mahigpit na yakap naman ang sumalubong kay Mario…yakap ng lolong sabik na sakanyang apo sabay nagsalita:
“Kumusta kana Mario? Tumangkad kana ah…akala ko’y din a kita muling makita…”
Bumaba narin mula sa kotse sina Crispin at Yaya Wenda, dala – dala ang naka – kahong pasalubong kay Lolo Esteban at ang kanilang mumunting mga regalo para sakanyang kaarawan tapos nagmano na ang ito sabay bati ng:
“Maligayang Kaarawan po Lolo Esteban…Maligayang Pasko po!”
Pinatuloy ni Lolo Esteban ang tatlo sa kanyang kubo at doon narin sila nagkwentuhan. Di makapaniwala si Mario na magkikita pala sila ng kanyang lolo sa araw na ito dahil ang buong akala’y ipasyal ito sa Bayan.
“Lolo, bakit po ayaw ng Itay na tumira po kayo sa bahay?” tanong ni Mario sa lolo habang kandong niya ito.
“Naku apo ko, mahabang istorya yan…pero galit lang ang iyong Itay…” sagot ng matanda.
“Bakit naman po kaya galit?” usisa ng bata.
“Kse ako ang sinisisi ng iyong Itay kung bakit namatay ang iyong lola sa aksidente at kung bakit ko daw siya hindi  natulungan upang makapasok noon sa isang sikat na eskwelahan at sinisisi niya ako dahil napapahiya lang daw siya dahil isa akong magsasaka. Ngunit ang pinakamabigat sa lahat ay noong ayaw kong sumang – ayon sa gusto niya na ipagbili ang mga lupain natin at ang katwiran niya ay mas magaling na daw ang salapi na alagaan kaysa lupang nakatiwangwang at naging walang silbi kaya… nagalit siya. Mula noon ay parang nawala na ang respeto sa akin ng iyong ama. Katwiran din niya ay hampas lupa lang daw ako at mangmang kaya itinakwil na ako dahil dagdag pasanin na lamang daw ako sakanya…ultimo nga ang iyong inay ay puros masasakit na ang mga inuusal sa akin. Kita mo naman noon magkasama pa tayo sa bahay, sa tuwing tayo’y kumakain tayo ay hindi ako isinasabay at kita mo naman ang mga pinagagamit sakin ay mga baong plato’t kutsara at ang basong gawa sa kaputol ng kawayan. Sa tuwing matutulog na tayo noon ay doon ako naglalatag ng karton sa kusina dahil ayaw akong patulugin sa kwart o o kahit maging sa salas lamang…” ang mahabang kwento ni Lolo Esteban kay Mario.
Masama man ang loob ng matanda sa kanyang anak na tila nakalimot na sakanya ay wala naman siyang magawa kundi tanggapin na lamang ang katotohanan.
Habang nakukwento si Lolo Esteban, nahabag siya sa kanyang lolo. Maluha – luha ang mga mata nito habang nagkukwento. Doon na lamang naliwanagan si Mario kung bakit ayaw ng Itay niya kapiling ang sariling ama.
Si Mang Lando, isa na ngayong matagumpay na negosyante ay tila nadidiri na sa kanyang sariling ama. Ikinahihiya niya ito na siyang nagging puno’t dulo ng pagmamaltrato kay Lolo Esteban.
Si Lolo Esteban ay sunod-sunuran na lamang sa mga pasya ni Mang Lando sapagkat wala na itong kakayahan upang pigilan ito. Ipinapasa – Diyos na lamang ng matanda na nawa’y dumating pa din ang araw na magbago ito.
Panay tiis na lamang ang magawa ni Lolo Esteban, ngayon ay matanda na siya ay saka pa niya mararanasan ang hagupit ng kanyang anak. Ang anak hindi marunong tumanaw ng utang na loob sa magulang na siyang pinag – utangan ng buhay.
Naulit pa ang palihim na pagbisita nila Mario sa bukid kay Lolo Esteban. Noong pangalawang pagbisita nila ay noon lamang niya napansin na ang tanging mga kasangkapan na gamit sa kubo ay kukonti lamang. Ang mga plato, kutsara at sandok ay gawa sa bao. Ang tasa ay kaputol na kawayan…malayong – malayo sa mga gamit nila Mario na puro gawa sa pilak, mga porselana at mamahaling bubo ang mga plato, kubyertos at mga tinidor pati mga tasa. Nag – iisa lamang ang kumot ni Lolo Esteban at puro sulsi narin ito. Napansin din ni Mario na konti narin ang maayus – ayos na kasuotan at konti narin ang laman ng lata ng Rebisco na imbakan ng bigas. Pagtingin ni Mario sa tungko ay nakita niyang na mangilan – ngilan na lamang ang palito ng posporo at paubos narin ang inipong sinibak na Mangga na paggatong.
Mabuti na lamang at nariyan si Mang Tacio na karatig lamang ni Lolo Esteban sa Aplaya na siyang nagsisilbing katuwang at taga–tingin ni Lolo Esteban sa tuwing siya ay nag – iigib, mangangahoy, magtabas sa bakuran, maglaba  at kung anu – ano pa. Dahil sa awa at pagmamalasakit sa matanda dahil medyo mahina na ito ay madalas dinadalhan ni Mang Tacio ng ulam at minsa’y bigas para pandagdag sa rasyon ni Lolo Esteban.
Patapos na ang buwan g Disyembre noon at malamig ag panahon. Naalala ni Mario ang kayang lolo sa bukid baka siya ay giniginaw. Kumuha si Mario ng gunting at hinati ang kanyang imported na lanang kumot na kulay itim.
“Ang kalahati ay para kay lolo at ang isa pang kalahati ay maiwan nalang sa akin.” ang bulong ni Mario habang ginugupit ang kumot para mahati ito.
Lingid sa kaalaman ni Mario ay ipinamili pala ni Yaya Wenda ng mga gamit sa kusina at mga pagkain ang kalahati ng kanyang sahod para kay Lolo Esteban.
Ika-31 ng Biyernes, Disyembre, wala ang Inay at Itay ni Mario dahil lumuwas ang mga ito sa Maynila upang dumalo sa isang Christmas Party ng Makati Business Club. Dito nagkaroon muli ng pagkakataon makapuslit sina Yaya Wenda at Mario upang dalawin si Lolo Esteban. Nang patanghali na ng araw na iyon ay narrating din ng dalawa ang bahay kubo ni Lolo Esteban. Ibinigay nila sa matanda ang mga pinamili ni Yaya Wenda at ang kalahati ng kumot ni Mario. Ang aginaldong limandaang piso ni Mario galing sa Ninong Greg nito ay ibinigay din sa kanyang lolo.
“Lolo, sayo na po ang kalahati ng kumot ko ha…hati po tayo, tapos sa iyo na rin po ang aginaldo ko para meron po kayo pambili ng bigas.”, ang marahang salita ni Mario habang iniabot ang kalahating kumot na binalot sa lumang diyaryo na Manila Bulletin at ang pera na na sinupot ni Mario sa ice candy wrapper.
Makaaraang maibigay ang mga dala ay madaling nagpaalan ang dalawa baka sila’y mabuking sa bahay at bilin sa kanila ay huwag umalis ng bahay.
“Lolo, paalam na po…babalik din po ako ulit ha…” paalam ni Mario kasabay ang pagmano nito.
Sa halos tatlong buwan, ganun pa din ang ginagawa nila Yaya Wenda…sumasalisi kung meron pagkakataon para maipasyal si Mario sa Lolo Esteban.
Ngayon, malapit na ang katapusan ng pasukan, tuwing hapon pagkagaling sa eskwelahan ni Mario ay nag – iipon siya ng mga magagandang bao at kanya itong kanakayusan ng maiigi hanggang halos isang sako na ng baong pinakinis niya ang naipon. Nag – abala din gumawa ng mga kutsara at sandok na gawa sa bao si Mario. Sa tuwing tinatanong si Mario ng kanyang ina kung anhin ang bao ay: “Laruan ko lang po mga ito” ang sagot ni Mario.
Isang araw, surpresang pumasyal sa bukid si Mang Lando. Walang kamalay – malay si Lolo Esteban na dadating pala ang kanyang anak para magbisita.
Nang dumating si Mang Lando, hindi man lang ito nagmano sa ama o kaya’y nagdala man ng kung anu – anong pagkain man o mga gamit. Tanging nag – usisa na lamang ito kung bakit meron mga kutsara, tinidor, tasa, termo, plato at mga bagong damit sa kubo at gayunman ay wala man itong inutusan para magdala dito. Nang makita niya ang kalahati ng kumot ay agad uminit ang ulo nito. Kilala ni Mang Lando ang kumot.
“Ama! Bakit nandito ito?! Sinong nagdala nito dito? ang galit na tanong ni Mang Lando.
Hindi na umimik si Lolo Esteban dahil nag – aalala siya naka kung ano pa ang mangyari skanyang apo.
Ilang sandali lang ay dali –daling umalis si Mang Landon a galit –galit.
Pagdating sa bahay ay unang tinawagan ni Mang Lando si Yaya Wenda.
“Wenda! Wenda!” ang malakas na tawag nito mula sa tarangkahan pa lamang.
“Bakit meron mga gamit sa bahay sa bukid?!!! Sino ang nagdala ng imported na kumot doon?!! Ha!?” ang maiinit na pagtatanong ni Mang Lando.
“Eh kse po…eh…si Mario po kse…,” ang pautal – utal na sagot ni Yaya Wenda.
“Nasaan si Mario?” ang mabilis na pagtanong ulit ni Mang Lando.
“Nariyan po doon sa dampa, nagpapakinis po ata ng bao…” sagot ni Yaya Wenda na tila takot.
Mabilis na naglakad patungo sa dampa si Mang Lando kung saan naroon si Mario na nagpapakinis ng bao. Pagdating sa dampa ay tumambad sa paningin ni Mang Lando ang halos dalawang sakong puno ng mga bao at marami pang nakakalat. May mga bao na hugis kutsara, sandok at pabilog na itsurang plato rin!
“Ang dami mong laruan sa loob! Anhin mo ba itong mga basura dito?! ha?! Itapon mo nga mga ito o sisilaban ko!” ang sabi ng galit na si Mang Lando. “Sandamukal ang laruan mo sa loob…hindi mo na kailangan pang maglaro ng mga basura!”ang pagpapatuloy pa nito.
“Mario, bakit nariyan kay Lolo Esteban ang kumot mo???!!! At anhin mo yang sandamukal na bao?!” ang agad naman na pagtatanong nito.
“Itay, kailangan ko na po mag – ipon kse sabi sa amin ng titser sa eskwelahan ay mag – impok habang maaga pa para pagdating ng araw ay meron dudukutin. Kinakalusan ko ang mga baong ito para habang maaga pa po ay marami narin po ako maiimbak. Inihahanda ko na po mga ito para pagmatanda na po kayo ay mga ito na po ang inyong mga gagamitin…katulad po ni Lolo Esteban. Nag –iipon lang po ako para din na ko kayo mahirapan balang araw.” ang paliwanag ni Mario.
Biglang lumingon sa malayo si Mang Lando, tila parang may kung ano sumampal sa mukha nito. Kinurot ang kanyang puso ng konting paliwag ng kanyang supling. Hindi nasikmura ang pagkatakot at kaba sa sinabi at bahagyang di nakapagsalita agad. Matindi ang tama sakanya…
Naglakad – lakad ng bahagya at bigla na lamang napaluha ito…doon niya lamang napagtanto na pwede nga pala talagang mangyari sakanya ang anumang sinapit ni Lolo Esteban. Bigla siyang natakot na baka pagtanda niya baka siya ay tratuhin kagaya na lamang sa ginawa niya sa kanyang Ama. Noon lamang niya namalayan ang pagkukulang at ang maling asal niya sa magulang. Musmos pa si Mario at ang kanyang pagkakaunawa sa murang edad ay ang  kasangkapang-bao ay para sa matatanda.
Hindi na nagawang magalit ni Mang Land okay Mario. Hinayaan na lamang ito para ituloy ang ginagawa.
Kinabukasan, alas – singko pa lamang ng umaga ay umalis na si Mang Lando. Tumungo siya sa bukid para sunduin at iuuwi na sana si Lolo Esteban. Iniwaksi na niya ang hiya at nag – lakas loob na para humingi ng kapatawaran at mag – balik loob sa ama. Buo na ang loob para harapin ang hamon…
Pagdating sa bahay-kubo, tinawag agad ni Mang Lando si Lolo Esteban.
“Itay! Itay…gising na po kayo. Itay!” tawag ni Mang Lando.
Maraming beses pang tumawag si Mang Lando ngunit hindi tumutugon ang matanda. Naiinip na ito sa paghihintay para bumangon si Lolo Esteban kaya nagpasya na lamang itong pasukin sa loob. Ngunit sa sandaling lumapit siya kay Lolo Esteban, tila may biglang naramdaman ito…magkahalong kaba at takot! Nilapitan ang matanda para pukawin…nakakumot pa ang kalahating katawan ni Lolo Esteban ng kumot na ibinigay skanya ni Mario, malamig kse ng gabing iyon.
Pinukaw niya ang matanda subalit tila ayaw nitong kumibo. Kahit anong pagpupumilit ni Mang Lando para gisingin ay balewala lang. Maya – maya’y bigla na lamang pumalahaw si Mang Lando…Tila nagkatotoong bangungot na pala ito na hinding-hindi inaasahan Mang Lando!
“Itay…Itay…bakit? Huuhu! huhuhuuuuuu…pa-paaaapatawad po!!! Patawad po! Huli na po ako…bakit hindi po ninyo ako hinintay pa…? Huhuhu!”
Si Lolo Esteban ay pumanaw na pala! Kailanman ay hindi na muling mabuhay, tanging mga alaala na lamang ang natira o naiwanan sa mundong kanyang pinamuhayan sa mahabang panahon. Ngayon, gaano pa man ang pagsusumamo ni Mang Lando ay hindi na maibabalik pa ang mga nakaraan, huling-huli na ang lahat!
Anhin mo nga talaga ang malagong damo kung patay na  ang kabayo…pero mabuti nalang ang nangyari. Dahil sa kalagayan ni Lolo Esteban ay doon nagka-ideya si Mario na igawa ng mga gamit gawa sa bao para sa kanyang ama baling araw…at dahil sa mga baong iyo’y napukaw ang damdamin ni Mang Lando na siyang nag – udyok sakanya upang mapagnilayan ang kanyang mga kamalian at pagkukulang sa amang si Esteban. Dito rin nagkapuwang ang tadhana na lipulin ang marupok na damdamin ni Mang Lando at tarakan ng lagusan tungo sa pagbabago!

Farmville Mania


Farmville Mania

By: Laforteza, Wilbert C.

One morning, I barged-in at the library to tend at my usual task, which is reading a newspaper. Upon entering, I noticed several students huddled on two computers at the IMS Section…hearing some saying the words: eggplant, cow, harvest and wheat. Disregarding the noise, I continued until few minutes later, while reading the Inquirer, I was bothered seeing the restless students…some noisily couch and cheer while the rest stand firmly but with all eyes on the computers. Annoyed but alacrity of knowing what’s going on, I approached the group and took a glance on the monitor then I read the word “Farmville” and saw on the background plots teeming with crops. I sighed, “Oh! It’s a farmers’ game.”

Since I’m a farmer and belongs to a family of farmers, too, I turned interested with Farmville so I got the nerve to research about it thru the net at home, one evening. Before searching, I logged in my account at Facebook then begun surfing. I was surprised to know that it’s simply imbedded at the Facebook’s applications. I’ve been maintaining my FB accounts for more than a year but it was then my firs time to open a game in it. Eager to explore Farmville though still unknown to the mechanics, I tried and experienced the ever first time in my life “virtual farming”…’twas a funny start.
When I scavenged informations and dug up the Farmville’s story, I learned that it’s a social game developed by the Zynga Company and they launched it last June 19, 2009. Since it’s launched, it rapidly gained millions of client users. I was surprised to know that today, Farmville user enormously increasing by a million per week. Wow! It is amazing that so many people patronize this virtual game. This social game is now a world’s giant online game serving several millions of users. Really, the population is huge within the Farmville community…the rapid increase is so astonishing!
There’s a cash flow in the Farmville game, there’s income on every harvest and there are bonus amounts from such visit to neighbors’ farm. I wonder if these dollar pennies can be converted or enchased into real cold cash. Hmm…that could be a good and opportunity for all who are fond of Farmville to earn real cashes. On the other hand, I could not wait that one time; the virtual money accumulated may be used to trade or purchase desired actual products. That would be an easy way to linger a market life via online transactions. It will mean a convenient way to access financial resoureces in just clicks.

Repeatedly, I played Farmville…it lures me to check the game frequently or else the crops planted may wither if they’re not harvested a lengthy time.

Now, something I learned from Farmville; just like in real farming, crops need to be tended and harvested within certain time or else they’ll wither or left unbeneficial. Endeavor, time, capital and labor are of waste if the crops are left unattended in long time or they are abandoned. Abandoning crops, fowls and livestock means loosing a farming livelihood…and losing will let you weep in misery.

Care for crops, animals as well your whole farm; Farmville players…all have the swelling amusement in this game, happy virtual farming! I hope you could be convinced to love farming in real life…farming is a dignifying occupation because you have the opportunity to procure food for everyone who’re waiting for something to devour.

I wrote this last August 2009

>Despondence


>


DESPONDENCE
by: Wilbert C. Laforteza
An importunate fate stormed my dusky pathway
All in a sudden, gathered hope…all blown away!
Was badly hurt, I strove, and I struggled for life
But the untimely storm kept pressing me down, rife!

Yes, I did my best not to blunder and squander
Yet the world seems so rugged, there’s much to ponder
Impunity strafed! I’m wounded…covered with gloom
Crawled begging help from anyone, even from a hoodlum

Guts, slowly sucked by the mighty quicksand of traverse
Captured each leaf of dreams…blurred life, slowly perverse
Alas! My future’s nightmare seems unstoppable
Pesky predicament’s fruit, it’s abominable!

Cold breeze of misery whirled vastly and staggered me
But I cringed ardently like a dauntless army
Rain of tribulations spattered on everywhere
Oh! I’m hit, I’m blinded…now drifting to nowhere

Life’s strait gate, sieves the entrant who bravely aspire
Dress-up with a coat of courage, then, transpire
I can bear this boldly although hope had faded…
But with courage and zeal, I’ll rise and be lauded!

Mysteries of Two Paper Planes


 

Mysteries of Two Paper Planes
By: Wilbert C. Laforteza

Two folded papers, two sheets of a Grade – 1 pad turned into paper planes. They are simple things but they made priceless stories that worth to treasure. Truly, paper planes are simple objects but they worth lot for a person who once toyed with them during childhood. Toying with these little things means letting oneself go carefree. A personal experience, I once made two paper planes, each made a single flight but with different fate. Their flight made mysterious interpretations that remained unveiled within fourteen (14) years.
When our class dismissed on the cold afternoon, Monday of January 24, 1994, I made a paper plane just before I left the room. When I reached outside, I launched the paper plane for its maiden flight. It soared smoothly and gently landed on the ground. Unluckily, an envied classmate, Reymard, took it quickly and sped away. Oh! my paper plane it’s captured! I have to save it so ran after Reymard in hope I can get it back. The chase started from school going to plaza until we reached Reymard’s home, which is a kilometer away, and it’s in the next by Barangay.
Realizing that the rescue doomed to be futile, I started to walk homeward…it was drizzling and cold! While walking, I felt a strange thing inside me…I was bothered for unknown reason. People on the way were looking at me sadly, none of them smiled but they murmured. I heard few words that puzzled me, “here comes the son…”
I know that on the dawn of the same day (Jan 24), my mother was hospitalized but I wasn’t aware of her condition during the whole day because I was at school.
As I drew nearer at home, things grew more and more strange. I was uneasy to see many people now walking with me on the same direction…we’re all walking towards in our house. Few meters away from our gate, my instinct seems cleared…something was wrong. There were people coming in carrying bunch of flowers tied with ribbons with written “Condolence.”
Soon as I reached the gate, my father met and quickly hugged me and said, “Your mama is gone.” Really, she’s gone because when I entered in the house, I saw her lifeless, laid in a coffin.
Several days after the tragedy, I returned to school. Again, I made another paper plane during the windy recess time. This paper plane is better than the first one and it’s the best paper plane I knew in the history. I launched it in our playground. It was awesome; it swiftly soared until the strong wind took command on its flight. The winds maneuvered it.
From the playground site, the paper plane’s flight went further and further…it was drifted away until it reached the nearby forest, then the nearby hill and furthermore. Ten minutes later, were still tailing the paper plane just to witness its awesome flight. We crossed the meadow, forest, and hill just not to miss watching it until we reached the fenced cemetery. Later, the paper plane finally landed at the perimeter of the cemetery…it’s almost half kilometer away from our school playground!
After those incidents, the mysterious message remained unknown for fourteen years. Just last year, 2008, I realized that the paper planes’ flight cradled lessons long unveiled. The lesson to value good things whether they’re small or big things in life. And when time trials come, learn to struggle. Don’t be afraid to fail because success means not by never failing, success means rising from every failure. First failure doesn’t mean it’s enough but try again. Short flight of the paper plane means a challenge to struggle to achieve a longer flight…a flight towards prosperity in life. Another lesson is that in order to achieve personal tranquility, learn to let go when necessary. A paper plane can’t make a good flight if it is kept handled by the hand, you have to release it! Move on!#