The Promise (Poetry)


When I was young, my mother said,
The Virgin in her dream appeared,

“Do not harm your child, keep her safe,

She’ll be your light in aging life.”

  So I was born one sweet May morn,

  A lonely rose among the thorns,

  Or so my mother sweetly thought,

  Just as expected of a poet.

I grew up within her embrace,

Taught to be grateful of God’s grace,

Learned poetry at a young age,

Under her patient tutelage.

  Now I’m with children of my own,

  Even they have already grown,

  And now, though my mother is old

  She is still as fit as she should.

I’m not sure if I had fulfilled,

The promise I’m supposed to be,

I hope I’m what she expected,

That she’s happy to live with me.

Are We Really Free?

A happy Monday morning, everyone!

And to all my countrymen:  Happy 119th Philippine Independence Day!

My regular blog post should have been published yesterday but since today we will be celebrating the anniversary of Philippine Independence, I decided to postpone publishing and cover our own local celebration of the said event.

Before the program started, of course, people were still milling around in their gorgeous Filipiniana attires, the city officials and department heads of local offices posing for posterity while the various sectors in their uniforms waited for the program to start.

The program started at around 7:30 in the morning with the entrance of colors, which means the entrance of the Philippine flag and the banner of the city.  

This was followed by the offering of flower wreath at the center of the public plaza, in front of the flag pole, by the City Mayor, Vice Mayor together with the Filipino World War II Veteran President of the city.

The twelve Philippine revolutionary flags followed, escorted by the twelve Sanggunian Panlungsod Members, and paraded up the stage, their brilliant red color so vibrant to represent the bravery and boldness of the Filipino soldiers in their fight for freedom against the Spanish oppression of that time.

Wreaths, pots and bouquets of flowers were also offered under the monuments of the two Philippine heroes the city honors, Andres Bonifacio and Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

The city officials then marched up the city hall’s balcony to reenact the first-ever Independence Day Celebration held in Cawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.

The program ended after a dance presentation by the city representatives to the Panaad Folk Dance competition and by a young maiden singing “Ako ay Filipino”.

Every year, every local government units, anywhere in the Philippines try to recreate the spirit of patriotism evoke by the first celebration of the Philippine Independence and try to enliven the occasion and impart the values of such event in the younger generations.

Yet, with or without the sad events still happening in Marawi, are we really free?

With all our talks about freedom, aren’t we still bounded by some ideas that limit us from experiencing it totally?  Or aren’t we limited by our inhibitions to embrace the changes that comes with the times?  Or aren’t we afraid to accept the consequences brought by grasping it with both hands for fighting for it might mean giving up our everything for it?

Fighting for our freedom does not always mean taking up arms and walking up and down the streets shouting for it.  

Our everyday thoughts and actions, our efforts and struggles, towards liberation from pangs of hunger and escape from the shackles of poverty, are also embodiments of our continuing fight for freedom.  

We might say we are already a Republic, a democratic country freed from dominion of other countries, but still, our existence is a continuous struggle not only from domination of powerful countries who continuously try to plunder our natural resources but also from the debilitating effects of corruption for the past several decades.

Freedom has its many faces.  And our struggle to keep it can also vary in many ways.

Even within our ownselves, an inner struggle continues.  We wish to fight our tendencies to bury ourselves underneath seemingly unimportant desires for lavish spendings and luxurious things but we often fail to discipline and curb them.


We wish to have more courage and determination to crawl out of our hand-to-mouth existence, but opportunities to do so is just so out of our reach that despite working eight hours a day, five days a week, earning supposedly thousands of pesos per month but what we bring home at the end of a pay day is barely enough to tide us over a few days.

We might always know deep in our hearts the value or importance of freedom but for us whose struggles towards liberty from poverty and harsh existence is ever-continuing, we might feel it or see a glimpse of it at times we receive our bonuses but we would always seem just dream of it and pray that manna will hopefully fall from heaven.

Man of my Dreams

Man of My Dreams2

You are the reason why I smile,

You are the cause why life is worthwhile,

Life is hard but I’m still happy

For you who truly completes me.

Before I met you, I asked God

For a special man who can love

This girl whose life story is sad

Angels cry from Heaven above.

God heard, my prayers He granted

One whose personality seems

All that I can ever wanted

He gave me YOU, man of my dreams!

Man of My Dreams

Luxurious Moments?

Warm hugs and cuddles

Entirely make up

For all life struggles

That we’ve to face up.

I woke up this morning to warm hugs and cuddles.  Ain’t that the best way ever to wake up to?  It made me smile and greet the new day with a positive spirit and energy.  It wiped away the troubles and pains of yesterday effectively and made me feel thankful that I am given another day, another chance to enjoy life and submerge myself in this euphoric feeling of having loved as great a guy as this man smiling down at me, waking me up with a sweet kiss and warm hugs.

Over nineteen years of being married, being comfortable and fully-adjusted with each other’s sleeping patterns and habits complete with all the odd stuffs like snoring, gritting of teeth, even drooling (Ew!!!  Hahaha!!!).  

Each day had passed by almost in a blur, like movie scenes scrolled fast forward. Days came tumbling one after another, getting routinary –day in and day out — that we tend to take for granted wonderful, seemingly ordinary things and  events in our lives, such as waking up face-to-face with the same person we lived with all these years

Having days such as this, made me think back once again to those days when we were still young and just started out together on this journey we called “married life”.  Hay…

Oops, don’t misunderstand me.  I don’t regret being married and all that.  My married life may not be made up of silk and bright colors, but, neither is it all dreary black.  It may have been a bumpy ride but it isn’t that all scary.  I would say it has been fun.  There were ups and downs, loops and jumps, but all of these events had made life interesting and even exciting.  

It’s just that time can fly by us so swiftly.  It passes by us so fast that there were days we cannot even have the time to appreciate how bright the sun shines or how beautiful the birds sing.  We were just too busy living our lives, that is.

But, today waking up to such a beautiful day, made me wonder, how many times in the past years had I failed to savor the sweetness of moments like this?  Has it become a luxury that I failed to grasp and enjoy when it was already offered in a silver platter?

Whatever it is though, I decided once and for all, it’s not yet that too late for me to hold my fortune firmly in my hands.  I just have to once in a while lay back and enjoy my great fortune, indulge myself in luxury, if indeed time has turned moments like this into luxury…because I’m worthy of it.

Facing The Mirror

When we say “mirror”, what’s the most popular line that comes to mind, will it be “Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all,” by the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?  Or in Philippine setting, is it Boy Abunda saying, “I’m bringing out my magic mirror”?  How about if you are to face your own imaginary mirror, are you ready to face your true self?  Am I?

Oftentimes, on Facebook, we see people (acquaintances, friends, family) who love to post famous quotes or derogatory lines that seemed to point fingers at another person or is meant to make another feel shameful or to prick someone’s conscience BUT failed to notice that these lines are more apt reminders to themselves.  I am sure a name of a particular someone will suddenly pop into your mind.

We ask ourselves, how come they don’t seem to realize it?

That is, for the plain reason that no one can see the mud on one’s face unless one faces the mirror and be honest enough to admit the truth that is revealed there no matter how harsh is it.

Yes, I say, it is very difficult for anyone to face one’s self in that imaginary mirror and see what is revealed there.  I’ll bet that not so many will even spare a moment to face that mirror.

Will you?

Facing the mirror might reveal two things:  things you are proud of yourself and things that you will never even admit to yourself to be capable of thinking or doing, things you are ashamed of.  Thus, facing the mirror is tantamount to facing the demons haunting your mind, or looking at the ghost of a forgotten past, or the gaping mouth of a lion making you tremble in trepidation, fear and shame.  It is, in other words, admitting to your weaknesses and mistakes to that one person who is most important to you, YOURSELF.

For even to myself I have to admit that facing that mirror might ask more than I am ready to give and might reveal more than I care to accept.

But today, I want to gather up the courage to face that mirror and look into what it will reveal.

It revealed that in my life, there are things that made me wish I can turn back the clock of times so I can change them, or that I can even change myself for the better.

It also revealed that there are things I am capable of doing for the sake of love, for the sake of my family, for survival, for the right to exist in this world.

But most of all, it revealed I am what I am today because of those events that happened in my past.  I can say that I became a much stronger, braver, and wiser person than I was before.

I may have grown in a  family that may not be all that different among the usual sob stories you see in television, but let it suffice to say that at a young age, I gained a deeper understanding of life.

I realized that in order to change what people can remember of me and my family, I had to change the direction of their thoughts not on the sad facts of my life but on my triumphant journey towards achieving the goals I have set my eyes upon.  I wanted them to always remember, instead, where I am now.

I am neither filthy rich, nor am I with a distinguished position in society but I feel what I have now–a stable job, a supportive mother, a loving husband and three lovely daughters, an undying dream–are enough to make me feel I am on the top of the world.

There are maybe things that I have done that I may regret for my whole life but then there is no point on lingering on such regrettable past for what is left to be done is to move forward and to try doing what is right so I won’t commit the same mistakes again.  I will maybe forever whip myself in my mind but I will not allow myself to forever cower in fear and shame, for in this world, I may not be perfect but I am the best in giving my all for my family.

So, how about you?  Are you ready in…

(Photo Credits:  Workbook on Facing the Mirror by Daphne Delay)