Archive for December 2008


December 19, 2008

This  Christmas season means many things for me. It is the opportunity for our family in Naujan and in Lucena to get together and share meals, the time for thanking everyone ( all the mothers and parents) in the household and at work  :  ELf, La Liga,Isis, ,PRRM, Go Organics, NEA, Balay Mindanao, PBAZ, PBAA, Quedan, Angelworm, FPE,ARC, etc.) for being supportive and productive ;

Ed and i take this occasion for reflecting on the year’s lessons by blogging  to make our learning bigger than our experiences

This is also the chance to see family online because they are overseas , learning  Skype, Facebook chat & maximizing website platforms to exchange energies and love with Yen in Puerto Rico, Yeyi & Minette in Singapore, Caloy in Saudi, Deeda & Jason in New Jersey, Melo & Maebel in San Francisco, Peter in Liverpool ;

The time to dress up children who are descamisados due to  poverty and have fun with them;

Remembering and  greeting  overseas friends whose families have been part of our community  ( Chato & Massimo, Pat Canlas, Neng Sancho, Delia Unson & Chuck, Juliet Virtusio,Cha & Chuchi, Roy & Yvonne, Marie, Nonoi & Brida ,etc.)the time to send them good energies;

Praying for desparicido families who are in mourning and  the time to light candles ; for survivors of tragedies and disasters,the reason to rever life and to share courage and hug them.

The time to count the issues one had worked passionately and collectively  this year, and shout MABUHAY together !
To tag all the people one  shared energies with  post messages and photos online, using Ed’s quip of ” From the Redbook to FACEBOOK .”

The time to plant healing plants in the name of Peace,Truth and Justice.

So with all my babaylan energies, ed, ayen and i wish everyone the multiple blessings we have been enjoying the whole year. May our new year be as blest.


INA, nanay,mama

December 18, 2008

This season i wish you all women to remember that we are Mothers. let me quote Marra Pl. Lanot’s poem “Ina” and flesh out the images that men must embedd in their manhood. Marra read this poem during the reunion of the activists on dec.13 at alpadi’s estate and she gave me her book as her birthday gift.


Ako ang ina ng mga diyosa,ng mga nimpa ng dagat,ng mga diwata ng gubat,

ng mga espiritu ng burol,bundok,puno,amihan,paruparo.

Ako ang apoy at liwanag sa silahis ng araw,sa kamay ng buwan,sa libo-libong alitaptap sa gabing maginaw.

Ako ang naghasik ng palay at naglatag ng bulaklak,nagbigay ng kulay sa parang.

Ako ang katahimikan bago nayanig ang bulkan at sumiklab ang himagsikan,

ako ang pag-asa pagkatapos magwala ang kalangitan at lumuhod ang kapayapaan.

Ako ang ilaw ng tahanan na korteng kuweba,kubo,katedral, na mistulang parke at paaralan. Ako ang gatas sa labi sa halip na maasim na tuba o mapait na serbesa.

Ako ang unang ngiting nasisilayan sa duyan, ang mangkok na pinagbubuhusan ng iyak ng mga  anak pagkagaling sa eskuwela,

ang batyang pinagbababaran ng galit ng asawang napapagod sa pabrika.

Ako ang yerong sa pagbilad ng luha, ang langgas sa sugat, ang puntod ng dalamhati.

(Let me post the last five stanzas in the next blog).

With these lines, hug our mothers, siblings and daughters, whisper to our husbands and lovers the images, and energize everyone with the light of our wombs. happy holidays.

celebrating my 58th year

December 16, 2008

this december i told ed that i wanted to celebrate my 58th year with a lot of work on the ground,literally learning how to make the earth happy. i am excited with many opportunities to go organic, from eating wild rice to eating fresh herbs from my own garden. when i reached 50, my time started to fill up with caring for the sick, the dying and searching for people who disappeared. i had to learn how to cope with so much pain and mourning. i thought this must be the menopausal season. but upon reflection, i realized something in my sense of self was expanding. the sikolohiyang pilipino sense of kapwa and kalooban became palpable when i saw that i could reach out to people who cross beyond or they could reach me since i cannot call on them to appear when relatives request for a visit. i had to find a way to sustain my ebergy and that is how i came to discover going organic.

going organic means  releasing the fresh energy of the  soil,water and air in plants. going organic means  that anything that grows and is eaten by  living beings are free of poison. going organic is becoming a responsible member of the web of life and caring for it. going organic is more than being well. going organic is expanding one’s sense of kalooban and kapwa-tao.

have you ever touch soil, smell soil and tasted soil ? when we were children, i used to play with soil and mud, making cakes out of them. when it would rain, i would run and splash mud on playmates. i didnt mind walking on earth, in fact i was happy barefoot. when i saw my mother planting all kinds of flowering plants on our terrace, i took to caring for them. i ate flowers on my way to school and knew all the sweet ones along the path. though we lived in the town center, we were surrounded with trees and gardens. we could eat the kamias of our neighbor, pick aratiles, get as much mangoes and climb the kalachuchi tree.  growing up in a green lucena taught me to be aware of the land’s bounty, to respect all living things and be organic. i dont remember going to groceries  (now supermarkets) as a treat. going to farms, parks, rivers  and beaches were the real treats. we had fun  with growing things, from rice to mungo beans.we played with insects- ladybugs, dragon flies, butterflies. our family had  lots of pets – turtles, beetles, monkeys,and even a snake pet. we lived  organic in the 50s.

now that i am going to be a senior citizen, i plan to grow vegetables, herbs and fruit trees. i am planting daily and touching the soil until it responds to my care. i am cleaning the clutter in our house and recycling. i am sharing what i learn about the expanding kalooban, what it takes to cross to an afterlife, and knowing one’s consciousness becomes a link to those whose minds can still be reached.

going organic means many things to us. for me it is simply living and loving well.

marky cielo,honoring him with love

December 9, 2008

this sunday as we were celebrating manny pacquiao’s triumph,word came to us that marky cielo died . ed and i couldnt believe the sms that came. at first, we thought may be he is on a trip and met an accident. my immediate impulse was to send a text to bob, his father and ask where we could go. dada and ompong already were on their way to fetch bob from his house. bob replied that he would send us word when he gets to the antipolo home of marky.

i suddenly felt very weak.  i couldnt even scan the inner mandala where i believe souls go when they first realize they are travelling across another life. i prayed and asked ed to monitor events. i had to run an errand for isis director who needs a home. so i hailed a cab to pick up cai yi ping and bring her to la rainne’s home, then to shinette’s home. in the process, i tried to compose myself for the time that bob will need my help.

thinking of marky, twenty years old made me also think of ayen, our 18 year old daughter. ayen and bonsai went together to denmark in 2006 and marky taught their group a dance. we saw marky when he was still very young, nicknamed boknoy and bob loved him very much. when he entered the gma star search, we all mobilized friends from luzon to mindanao to vote for him until he won. we all felt very proud of marky. even our little girl angela went around her school telling her friends that she knew marky.

now that he has crossed to another life, i can sense the  grief that mildred, his mother and bob, his father are suffering. i wrapped a book, Praying Our Goodbyes and requested leah ,our Elf assistant, to bring to bob and family. ed and i wish we could be physically with the family but we have an earlier engagement in cagayan de oro, where i am blogging now.

i asked myself, ” if i were mildred, what will i do?” i would asked permission to enter the mandala and ask where marky is. i would pray with marky until he is ready to travel to his final destination. i would embrace him with all my love and pray that he remembers us his family, that he feels all our love. i will pray that someday, he will be our guide to the next life.

but this is all in the afterlife. i would have to face this loss in this life. so what can i do to remember marky cielo? perhaps young people can respond to this question. questions open another door.  a new door open up to a  space that we havent thought of or imagine. what do we do to honor a person whom we love? dedicate work where young people can realize their life purpose in this life? develop friends among young people and learn from them how they view life? listen to what they want to express? take time to be with them?

travelling with ed

December 5, 2008

this month ed and i are travelling to several cities and towns together.  last. dec. 3 ,we went to the teachers’ camp in baguio for ed to deliver a talk on “reaching the unreached”. the audience was a thousand educators invited by DepEd. ed organized his talk on how educators at the city,town and barangay level can reach the unreached and participate in the Education for All campaign, a commitment that the philippine government signed as part of the MDG goals.

i went around the benitez hall in teacher’s camp and saw people from many provinces listening to ed. as i scanned the lobby and balconies, i realized that only ed’s voice could reach everyone. there were places where they couldnt see the slideshow on the video screen nor see ed. i stood by one corridor and tried to listen to ed without seeing him and his powerpoint. realizing that the learning will be inadequate, i introduced myself to the secretariat and requested for camera assistance. i asked the one in charge to shift the focus of the cameras from ed’s slides to his face and include the audience so that they can move their eyes. in brain rules, listening with visual and motor  movements accelerate learning. i told ed that a lot of people were really listening to him. that he could reach almost everyone with his voice and energy.

today,  dec.5th,i went  with ed  to ateneo de manila to listen to the 19 finalists of galing pook. the morning sessions had eight presentations and most had good  governance projects except that their powerpoint presentations  reminded me of the sin of  ” death by powerpoint” – that you kill everyone by overloading them with poor slideshows.

i was impressed by the  trento lgu  bio dynamic farming in agusan del sur. the tranto  lgu trained the farmers to use organic farming and it increased their income. it also allowed the women to participate as partners and provided them with opportunities to develop their leadership. organic farming is my current passion and am participating in the DA FIELD support project where ELF will be enhancing the organic farming modules of 7 demo farms. i have been attending sessions of organic practitioners and agriculturists since november and have taken time to read the literature on sustainable agriculture. i told ed that my only qualitfication is that i am a vermiculture learner.  i raised my capacity to supervise the setting up of one to seven 7 vermibeds, produce one to  3 kilos of earthworms  and vermicast per bed every month. and i only started last june !

next monday,dec.8 , ed and i will fly to cagayan de oro to listen to their assessment and planning for the next year. caloy and ayi are good friends . ed and i look forward to learning more about their peace advocacies and sustainable development programs. we plan also to visit the electric coops and get updates on rural electrification.

next dec. 15-18, we plan to travel to naujan for Inay and the organic training of FIELDS. i havent been able to visit Inay since june and hope she is well enough to see us and the ELF team.

december is a busy month but a productive month. travelling with ed to many cities and towns  provide me with  opportunities to meet new friends. of course it also allows ed and i to catch up with each other’s learning especially now that he is always on the road for various talks while am busy with raising worms in our backyard and have taken the idle lot on our street for vermicomposting. this xmas, am already selling my happy worms. happy worms make  happy soils. happy soils produce edible plants.

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