Archive for December 2009

Magic Now

December 22, 2009

Last Sunday Dec.20. I went to see Avatar with Ed.  How beautiful the movie is and wish we could touch all the luminous plants and insects that Jake, the principal earthling, discovered in Pandora, the  brave new planet in Avatar.

Our daughter Ayen, who saw it the next day, wished she could live in Avatar, without clothes and in communion with luminous beings. Such luminousity made me remember what Lito Tiongson said when he crossed beyond . As I was preparing for his funeral rites, he sent me a magical sense  of ” the luminous worlds”. I couldnt see at first what he meant, as I was cutting paper for the sarimanok  wreaths. All I could remember was the colours and various shapes that evoked a sense of great love. I promised Lito someday I will see what he sees – and that was what Avatar gave me. It was magic for me to see Pandora in 3D. Scenes of  luminous dandelions floating and communicating with beings, neon mushrooms opening and closing, dancing and swirling like dervishes, giant mountains floating in the skies, and the great pure Tree of Light  that provides everyone the memories of their  ancestors – that was the closest I can think of what Lito found as  a heaven beyond our threshold . So the movie is a gift – a gift so magical for today.

I wish Maloi Tiongson  and her family will see Avatar together. It is, I believe, the magic  of love and respect for creation we need today.


How to enjoy being 59 years old

December 15, 2009

Being 59 is a  season for grace for me. I will not subtract a year nor add. The Chinese round it up to 60 while many women describe it as feeling 29. Women have been changing how they look at growing old. In the age of cougars – or women who take young lovers – it is the time to enjoy being a full woman. This is how I feel – being a full woman but I need not be a cougar to enjoy good sex. 

What does 59  years bring ? A sense of confidence that what I have and who I am is what I worked hard for. My dearest friends sent me various essays on enjoying life yesterday as I limber up to 59 years.Of all the texts that I got as greetings, one sassy friend asked me to have as many orgasms for the two of us – which meant that she had not been enjoying it. I texted back that she would receive hers via my chakras.

Women friends who have menopause frequently describe their sex life as “Gone with the Wind”. Being a woman does not stop with the end of menstruation and fertility. A 59-old body  doesnt feel like a’ Venus rising from the sea ‘but it can provide many joys, almost like an Indian summer. This is how Ed describes me when he looks at me ” You ,Girlie are in bloom ,like an Indian summer, all the colours and shapes are in their brightest and expressive tones.” Yes, that is what I look like – my hair dyed in various shades of brown,my weathered skin moisturized daily with virgin coconut oil, my cheeks patched with rashes and my breasts reaching below the bra line. Sometimes I have to get a walking stick to get to the toilet in the morning.I cannot read text smaller than 12 fontsize nor do sms in a minute.

 But when I look at my feelings now, I have lots of red chilies,  spicy orange, radiant purple, electric blue, and  delicious green. Even the way I see friends – they are  my silver and gold. Five to six decades of growing have opened my eyes and ears to the degree that I want to live to ninety-nine years.

Being 59, I know many things now. Am bodywise. I do have many aches and my body always issues many signals. I know now why my hands cannot twist all the caps when opening drinks. But many nieces and nephews can serve me all the drinks I want. I know now why I cannot carry ten kilos of  groceries up three stories.I need not worry because many boys and girls carry my load when they see me. I know now why I  cannot do kayaking or water skiing. My daughter Ayen can do those sports for my fun. My body will not allow me to do what young people do because my muscles, my bones and my heart have the strength of a 59 year old.  Having  so many adventures, I wear my body as a seasoned coach. I am grateful my body advises me what I can do. Am not complaining since my legs and lungs can still bring me to many places where I see friends and exchange stories ,eg. walk around Edinburgh and Glascow last September, travel to Zambales farms last week, fly to Cagayan de Oro this week and meet many peacebuilders like the BMFI people. How many women can be as free to go wherever one wants to be?

So, women, we dont have to hide our age. We earned every day of  each year we live and love.Am proud I am 59 and happy. Ed lives longer because he knows I am whom he wants as a smartmate.

How to celebrate advent,xmas and the new year

December 6, 2009

Tonite, I have to start organizing  how Ed and I will celebrate the holidays. It is going to be simple since in the previous seasons we were caring for Inay. We will miss Inay but we are comforted by the thought that her xmas will be the real one since she is where Jesus lives. For me,  celebrating with loving people will be the priority, not just family but friends and community.

First are the people with whom we  share meals and gifts. Christmas is a time for us to see people we seldom see due to our work . We will go to Lucena  first, clean our home which we seldom live in , put up a native bamboo xmas tree, adorn it with gifts and  have Ayen enjoy her many cousins . I will probably gift my siblings  my home made vinegar laced with tarragon and rosemary. If this vinegar passes their palate, then I will give them to  my elementary and high school classmates whom I couldnt visit during their birthdays. Should my vinegar be a success, I will share them with our more discriminating neighbours and godparents. I will even bring some to the Carmelite nuns to thank them for all the praying they did for us.

On a fantasy limb, I told Ed I wanted to raise a million pesos for reforesting  Mt. Pinatubo as an Advent event . Three items came to my mind : I would raise a million pesos, distribute them in  crispy new twenty pesos bills to fifty  thousand tree volunteers and have them all plant the trees in  Mt. Pinatubo when New Year arrives. Ed smiled when I told him I already went to MetroBank to reserve a million pesos worth of twenty peso bills. Even the bank manager and staff were challenged by my request. I didnt tell them that I would still have to find the million pesos. So I threw my request to the cosmic basket. Once the universe  grants my request, I will be pursuing this mission.

After this cosmic wish,  we will go  to Naujan   and partake of the festive menu. Am going to buy  more organic rice and vegetables from the Mindoro  farmers of  Go Organics. We havent been in Naujan since Inay died in February and will bring a bouquet to her grave and that of Ed’s father Vivencio. Ed is planning to visit Ormeco, the electric cooperative in  Oriental Mindoro  and discuss how consumers can develop their voices in the light of electricity rates going up.

After taking stock of my resources and time , I will suggest to Ed  developing stronger  links with the organic farmers of Quezon by scheduling a  green  festival in Sariaya or Pagbilao, depending on what Rep. Procy Alcala and our Go Organics  movement can whip up. We find Procy Alcala very enthusiastic with organic farming and his green  agricultural program is very much evident in the Sariaya market. I plan to buy a 100  kilos of all the vegetables  in Sariaya after the New Year ‘s feast and gift them to friends  who survived the  three typhoons. All I have to do is find the  Three Kings who will act as sponsors for the organic food  shopping.

People,organic  food, vinegar-making  and raintree foresting in Mt. Pinatubo   will fill up my holidays . By the time 2010 arrives, I will probably be smelling of vinegar, tarragon  and rosemary. Hopefully, it will lead to my raising a million pesos for Mother Earth. Then it will really be a  Great  2010.

They are our Mothers

December 2, 2009

Since the massacre in Maguindanao, I have been grieving and reading all the articles  and reports. The one item that has not been discussed is the fact that many of the victims were mothers,  both were Muslims and  Christians, some were human rights lawyers, media,  teachers and professionals, but many were mothers. I do not accept that what happened is part of the rido culture and that demons were behind the massacre. To reduce this brutality to a Muslim cultural practice is to excuse the masterminds and inflict more injustice to our Moro sisters and brothers. To label the killers as demons is to box in  criminal minds  and bar people from doing the right thing . Demonizing criminals enhances their power, imposes a climate of fear and weakens action that is possible among citizens. Many clans, from Cagayan to Basilan, even those in  Metro Manila must act against such powerful display of brutality, that lawlessness in those areas challenge members of the the modernizing elite to reform our justice and political  system. It is a fact that during elections, more violence is committed by those in power. Steinbeck said that  ” power corrupts but  the fear of losing power corrupts more.”

What should we do now ?  There is a Buddhist practice that we can develop as  a meme  : mindfulness and seeing the mother in all of us.  In planting the motherhood meme , we must regard  both victims and enemies as mothers. The power to kill mothers, wives, sisters should not be allowed to take root in our nation. This power can be challenged when we switch to  a powerful meme :  that all of us are mothers.  As mothers, women and men  have the power of life and truth. We carry every life to full term and  we have the duty to raise our voices and end all these  violence.

Every week, get people to wear their protest.

Then around Xmas time, enliven the period with loving mothers  issuing the call for truth and justice. Mga Ina ng Bayan tayong lahat.

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