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Follow her as she prepares and partakes the "bread for the stomach" in http://beforesixdiet.blogspot.com/ . And while you are full at it, she offers you the "bread for the soul" in her travels by foot and by thoughts in http://footandfire.blogspot.com/ Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top things I learned from my MOTHER (that her grandsons should know)

 My Nanay is enjoying her grand vacation in the wonderful place 
filled with nature's beauty called El Nido, Palawan!

Top things I learned from my MOTHER*
 (that her grandsons should know)

She raised five loud children, put up with a moody husband and handled different familial and spousal problems in the society as a dedicated government social worker. Here are my cheers to a happy positive woman I dearly call Nanay.

Labor is honor. That's it.

Never say no to learning skills. Learn skills such as haircutting, crocheting and sewing; they can give quick money somewhere out there!

Be industrious. If you are industrious, you will thrive as everyone loves to welcome in their homes a busy bee over a lazy babe.

Make friends. Talk to your neighbors, roommates and friends. They are your support group. How will they know that your stomach aches when you are not telling them. Of course, she meant more than stomach aches.

Never borrow personal things. Don't borrow things just to say that you own a new one. It is better to wear old clothes that you own than wearing new clothes that one does not own.

Be truthful. Always tell the truth no matter how hard it may be. If someone can't accept it, he has to deal with his acceptance rather than he has to deal with the fact of trusting you one again if he discovers that you lied.

Ask yourself why they lied to you. If someone close lied (white or black lies!) to you, ask yourself why. How you react to the truth is sometimes the motivation to lie for signioficant others. So always be a sport in hearing the truth.

Don't give alms. Real help involves a lot of work. If you want to help, it takes more than giving an alm.

Don't drink coffee, it will dwarf you. Eat margarine, it will make you tall. Well, we all grew up believeing her and it turned out, she was right all along.

Always say yes to a child's request (which are more like demand). They will never forget how happy they were when you said yes, even though you can't actually deliver. I call this a positive negative response, like... Yes, we will buy it at the end of the month (knowing that the child does not know when is the end of the month anyway).

Be positive. Look at the good side of everything.

Laugh. Laugh, even the expense of one's self. She can do this to herself, again and again.

Pep talk. She let us cry, rant, get angry. Then, let help us let go by giving us pep talks.

Parenting has no fix rules. She said, parenting has some code or commandments that over time reduced only to tips.

No swearing. Get angry but no swearing. I think, above all else, this is a sign that we have a good breeding.

Answer her with “Yes, Nay?” or “What, Nay?” and not just “Yes?!” or “What?!” When called for, always answer with the name of the caller, even if one is already angry at him/her.

Be disciplined. In food, we will pamper you. In attitude, we will break the wrong ones.



Saturday, January 25, 2014

My gift to Tin and Mookie on their wedding: "I wish your young love sweet joy"


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I wish your young love sweet joy*
For Ma. Christine Antonette and Mark Partrick
1.25.2014


I wish your young love
will grow
like a raton planted in a potent soil,
Or will thrive
like cut canes inches above the ground.

I wish your growing love
will mature
like newly cut cane turned into molasses;
Or will be purified
like the crystal white sugar.

I wish your maturing love
will survive
like a cane standing despite the slashing,
Or will triumph
like a cane shooting despite the burning.

Above all, I wish your surviving love
will nourish each other
like sugar bits compacted into cube,
And will flourish
like sugar giving sweet joy to a home in every way.

*copyright 2014 by Gerlie M. Uy

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jose Villa's "Inviting a Tiger for the weekend" and "I was speaking of oranges to a lady" in World Poetry (An Anthology of Verse from Antiquity to our Time) PART TWO


As a continuation to the entry on Jose Villa posted earlier in PART ONE, here is his two more poems.

Jose Villa's two other poems "Inviting a Tiger for the weekend" and "I was speaking of oranges to a lady" are entertaining and light read despite the fact that I still have to point out that they do not reflect anything about or specifically Filipino. I still liked the Jose Rizal entry which I blogged about earlier.

Inviting a Tiger for a Weekend
Jose Garcia Villa

Inviting a tiger for a weekend.
The gesture is not heroics but discipline.
The memories will be splendid.

Proceed to dazzlement, Augustine.
Banish little birds, graduate to tiger.
Proceed to dazzlement, Augustine.

Any tiger of whatever colour
the same as jewels any stone
Flames always assential morn.

The guest is luminous, peer of Blake.
The ghost is gallant, eye of Death.
If you will do this you will break.

The little religious for my sake.
Invite a tiger for a weekend,
Proceed to dazzlement, Augustine.

***
I was speaking of oranges to a lady
Jose Garcia Villa

I was speaking of oranges to a lady
of great goodness when O the lovely

giraffes came. Soon it was all their 
splendor about us and my throat

ached with the voice of great larks.
O the giraffes were so beautiful as

if they meant to stagger us by such 
overwhelming vision: Let us give 

each rose said my beautiful lady
of great goodness and we sent the 

larks away to find roses. It was 
while the larks were away that

the whitest giraffe among them
and the goldest one among them 

O these two loveliest ones sought 
and found us: bent before us two

kneeling with their divine heads
bowed. And it was then we knew 

why all this loveliness was sent 
us: the white prince and the golden

princess kneeling: to adore us
brightly: we the Perfect Lovers.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Jose Villa's "Now I Prize Yellow Strawberry" in World Poetry (An Anthology of Verse from Antiquity to our Time) PART ONE



Another Jose is included in the anthology. Jose Garcia Villa... His poems reflect that he is an immigrant, he used strawberries, girafffes, larks, tiger, oranges as his literary device when we have mangoes, calamansi, tamaraw, carabao, maya in the Philippines... My quick thought is that this only means that being a Filipino and being somewhere is already a definition of a Filipino... So sad he is ironically the only one listed under the title: Filipinos writing in English when I noted that there are at least three Indonesian poets under Indonesian. He is under the 20th century entry. The editors should dig more Filipino poets and add ones that write of Filipino culture or traditions. 
***


But this does not mean that the poem posted did not mean anything to me. Actually, poems should also have universal voice, so I must give it to Villa that in his poem, Now I Prize Yellow Strawberries, where he effectively trumpeted the belief in one's intellectual capacity, whether or not it brings wealth or general appreciation. Though Villa recognizes God's greatness in the third paragraph, he fearlessly announced man's intellectual genius.      

While not reflective of Filipino culture, this is a reflection of a man's intellectual pursuit.

***

Now I Prize Yellow Strawberries 
Jose Garcia Villa

Now I prize yellow strawberries
With their dignities of silk and
Their archbispal opulence
Rivaling God the peacock only.

Assuming neither space nor time
A purely intellectual fruit,
Yet of matchless elegance.
This Is my intellectual religion.

For I would not have bishops lean
Nor peacocks irreligious, but
Temper them to that great gold pitch
Of the first-ascending bridegroom.

So, to the tune of yellow strawberries,
Announce to philosophy my arrival
O a little irreverent perhaps
But religiously, peerlessly musical.

***




Friday, January 17, 2014

Jose Rizal's "Water and Fire" in World Poetry (An Anthology of Verse from Antiquity to our Time)


This 1338-page book is a gift from the court interpreter who will be retiring soon. He loves novels and will be donating his fictions to my local school. I already spotted this heavyweight last time and I mentioned to him that he gift it to me because I personally "eye" it. Fellow bookworms bond...

***

Quickly, I skimmed the book and the quick index. Of course, I am interested what were the entries for the Filipinos... So far, I found Jose Rizal under the tagline Filipino-Spanish and Jose Garcia Villa under Filipino writing in English. What were my instant thoughts? Why was Jose Rizal not placed as Filipino when the others were under Chinese, Malay etc. I shall write of my thoughts on Villa separately.

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***


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WATER AND FIRE
Jose Rizal......

Water are we, you say, and yourselves fire; 
so let us be what we are and co-exist without ire, and may no conflagration ever find us at war. 
But, rather, fused together by cunning science
within the cauldrons of the ardent breast, 
without rage, without defiance, 
do we form steam, fifth element indeed: 
progress, life, enlightenment, and speed! 

(Translated by Nick Joaquin)

***

This poem written by Jose Rizal reflects our history. I wonder why Rizal is placed under Filipino-Spanish? I must admit that such a tagline sets the stage for his poem as it speaks of his topic, the occupation by Spain of the Philippines. Water stands for Filipino while Fire for Spanish.... Is this the intent of the editors why they did not simply put Filipino on the tagline?

I enjoyed this empowering poem. 
It is very Filipino to be resilient... 
to be "without rage, without defiance,"
But it is also very human to finally find our way...
"do we form steam, fifth element"
Our independence is achieved because of the fifth element 
"progress, life, enlightenment, and speed!" 

 I wished there is one more entry.

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