Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Aida Santos, An Inspiration

September 28, 2016
This is Aida Santos whom I find inspiring because she has the gift of Grit, Poetry and Courage. For the youth who wants to learn from a living heroine, read her poetry and stories .
Aida  is a feminist and has been a pioneer in the women’s movements. She has four decades in development work and has mentored many people to walk their talk. Her courage in the face of torture and painful experiences during the dictatorship era ,1970s to 1980s, has strengthen her  nationalistic moorings. I raise a toast to this woman who has inspired me to sustain our work towards a better nation where women are recognized as equals.

Fed up with Imperial Manila? Go Fed

August 6, 2016

 Fed up with Imperial Manila? Go fed and change the power dynamics…

Many Filipino  politicians are scampering to join the federal bandwagon, or shall we call it the Fed Xpress train? From the Liberal party to the Nacionalista party members, we hear the buzz words” Change is coming!”

I am a citizen . I  do want change for the better. But I wont rush  into charter change simply because the  old constitution does not serve the needs of the current citizenry.

What is this federal system that PDP and Pres. Digong are advocating  as part of the change we need?

Jose P. Rizal was the first to suggest federalism in the struggle against Spanish colonial reign. It was not clear why the Katipuneros did not elaborate it but Aguinaldo was known to support it. The Americans opposed it and  during  its colonial rule, the US established the presidential form of government.

There are three nations from where we can gain insights on how  government systems evolved: United Kingdom, France and Germany.


The UK has a devolved system of government, but this is categorically not a system of federal government such as in the United States  or Australia , partly because less than a fifth of the citizens of the UK are covered the three bodies in question and partly because the three bodies themselves have different powers from one another namely : The Scottish  Parliament, The Welsh Assembly and The Northern Ireland Assembly. Furthermore,the British judicial branch is extremely complex. Unlike most countries which operate a single system of law, the UK operates three separate legal systems: one for England and Wales, one for Scotland, and one for Northern Ireland. Although bound by similar principles, these systems differ in form and the manner of operation.

France has been the laboratory of political experiments of federalism . It formed twelve (12) governments and had thirteen (13) constitutions.Since the French Revolution in 1789, France has had five different republican systems. All of them have been the results of violent crises. The fifth and current one was an outcome of the Algerian crisis in the 1950’s. It withstood several assassinations attempts and rebellions, proving to be one the longest lasting and most stable political systems France has seen so far. Quoted from Håkon Tranvåg.

What about Germany? Germany has a system of proportional representation for the election of its lower house, no one party wins an absolute majority of the seats and all German governments are therefore coalitions. Following the last Federal election in 2013, it took almost three months to form a new government. Unusually this is a coalition of the two major parties, the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats – what the Germans call “Gross Koalition” or simply “GoKo”. The head of the government is the Chancellor (equivalent to the British Prime Minister). The current Chancellor is Angela Merkel of the CDU.

There are more lessons from these three nations but let me wind up at this conjuncture to study the cultural issues in the devolution of power .

desiderata 2015

December 29, 2015

Tunganga as a meditation

March 19, 2015

Today, I welcomed the gifts of this life . Enjoying 64 suns, moons, stars  makes me grateful.  I received many blessings  without asking for it. How ? In Pinoy culture,I practice  tunganga.  This state of bodymind is simply breathing and cleaning one’s horizon of any issues .

How ? Focus on relaxing. Look at a beautiful bouquet.20150319_092823



Then go inward and explore your inner self, where the adventure begins.20150319_092851


Love and death are intertwined

November 6, 2014

November is a love month for me, more than valentine season. The remembering rites of people we love are held in November 1st and 2nd .This soul month, Ed and I prayed for our parents : Romualda Gan and Vivencio dela Torre, Cesar Villariba and Flotilda Collantes. Then we went to bond with two friend couples whose loved ones crossed over. Cha and Chuchi Cala flew from Calgary to bid goodbye to mother Mama Charing Cala . Maria Almazan and Aziz flew from Mumbai to take care of the final rites of her only brother Alec Almazan. We also paid tribute to Doc Juan Flavier in UP and remembered his parables. Why are all these rites important? Because as humans,we all share is death. Death spares no one and we need to learn why and how to face death.

I have witnessed many crossing over and marvelled how the spiritual energies soar over the human body. I cannot explain how I sense these energies but social rites and stories weave into the process of dying. When friends started requesting assistance in coping with grief and mourning during the final crossing, I would receive “messages” from the dying parent or sibling even when I was not present in the room. As I interpret the messages and send them to the family, I felt a sense that I can only describe as a loving” bilin”. When the “bilin” has been received well,there is a serenity that envelops the space where grief and mourning reside. As a witness to these rites of crossing over to afterlife, I am filled with love and respect.The main emotions humans relate well are love and respect. I think social rites of grief and mourning are precious paths to understanding this life and the after life. The mourning CIMG6309CIMG6309rites can link deep respect for the pain of the living and gratitude for the departing person. Prayers can provide the spine to weave energies into a tapestry of tributes. Yes, we all need to see death as the reason to love life and each other. For if we have never loved fully in this life, death will unveil the profound waste we made of this life.

Enjoying life each day by remembering and reflection.

January 4, 2013

An epiphany came to me today. With our two minds, the experiencing self needs its partner- the remembering self to be in synch. Many people suffer from lost memories like my father Cesar, 90 years old, doesnt remember my mother passed on last March 2012 but remembered her during his final month in December. My aunt Zenaida, his sister, doesnt remember how to contact her siblings. But not only old people forget. My daughter Ayen,23 years old, keep losing her chargers and usb, cannot remember where she left them. My husband Ed also has to ask me where our favorite books are shelved and if he cannot find them, will buy new copies like those of Stephen Covey and  Nassim Taleb.

Why do we forget ? There are always short memories, medium term and lifelong term memories.

What we experience is not always stored in our memory cells. What allows us to remember are those experiences we find

meaningful and makeTatay Iba pics1056953_10151543850283450_1967033705_n us feel deeply . Memorizing by rote can only help for a period but those that stay on are the reflections that we do frequently.

So if one is at risk of senility, Alzheimer, dementia , then it is necessary to reserve each day an hour of reflection for what you did . The memories of yesterday are assisted by faces, by people who take time to engage you. Faces, especially those gentle faces with smiles, will lift you from a fog of forgetfulness. Even aromas, have a usefulness in making you remember – the scent of cooking, the fragrance of a garden or a bouquet can help transport you into a state of joy vivre. So keep remembering, reflecting and life will blossom into a  fragrant moment. Such moments will fill a garden and your daily life will keep you joyful.

Expanding one’s energy for Advent

November 19, 2012

The xmas shopping season is palpable now with all the traffic signs. Ed and i went out to have a sunday date and took a cab to Trinoma. What greeted us in Edsa was a long queue to get to Trinoma and the cab driver left us out before we could enter the road to the supermarket since he couldnt get in nor out of it. Then there were the many people hearing mass inside the mall. “Ed, how do you describe this, a shoppers ‘s mass or a commercial transaction to get people to hear mass ?” said maldita girlie. Ed was quiet as we wove our way to a place to eat. All the floors were busy with people shopping and we found ourselves going in a buffet place because we were too hungry to look for the place that served souffle. “How much is the buffet? ” I asked Ed. “P650 per pax.” We were too hungry and asked to be seated right away. Ed and i looked around and there were many families occupying long tables. Hmmm, These must be overseas filipinos, I thought, since how can they afford such rates per pax? There were 30 dishes offered, Ed and i could only eat 6-8 courses, from sukiyaki soup to main dishes and dessert. One item i took got us laughing because we couldnt remember its name. It took me an hour to remember the name of the food – scallops! Ed said that the remembering synapses in our brains are slowing down.

But the main point of this blog is to get ready for the Advent challenge. SO let me get to the main point – conserve your day and plan . Dont rush into the traffic, thinking you can get work goals done since it’s monday. Breath in trinity steps – inhale slowly thru the nose, hold with your diaphragm billowing like a melon, then exhale through the mouth. These 3 steps will circulate enough oxygen and get your dopamine flowing for clarity. Take your breakfast slowly and drink after a meal. if you like coffee or tea, drink alkaline water first since the whole night had been using up your fluids.

Then go to the garden and walk around the plants, greet them as they open up their stomata to exude oxygen.

When you had an hour after a meal, then take your bath and sing in the shower. Your heart will start with a happy tune for the day. Remember your heart has not stopped pumping and you need to cheer it for more work.

Then imagine this day to be your most special day , maybe the final day (who knows you will cross over soon) and make each moment count.

Cheers and have that moment shine.

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