Posted in The Road to 30: Moving Forward

DAY 4: FREED

It’s my 30th year on earth. I don’t celebrate my birthday so this day is supposed to be just an ordinary day. However, it became more special because of one thing: today, I regained myself, my peace. And I even received an extra present because I also regained a person that I deeply love after months of being separated by sadness and misunderstanding.

Weeks before this day, I had already come to terms with the pain caused by some people’s weaknesses and poor decision. I had learned to see the bigger picture – why it happened, what it effect this entire fiasco had on me, my family and friends. I also learned a lot.

I learned that not everyone can be trusted. Just because they said they cared doesn’t mean they truly respect you. Just because you have shown them kindness doesn’t mean they’d return the favor, especially when you have just met them online. We cannot expect the people we meet that way to be entirely honest. Actually, I have proven in the most painful way that social media is the most dangerous place right now, full of people who may at the onset appear to be friendly but may lie and break you in the end.

I learned that sometimes, our worst enemy is our own self. We are fallible and our own weaknesses are oftentimes the ones that put us in danger. If we were the sort that gives in to loneliness or anger or fear, then we would be more likely to commit big mistakes that we would definitely regret in the end.

I also learned that it is possible to forgive even when the people who wronged you haven’t apologized yet. I didn’t hear the words “I’m sorry” before this day but I managed to let love cover their mistakes. The truth is, when it comes to forgiving, it really doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, who was hurt and who caused the greater pain, who was willing to apologize and who forgot to do so. What really matters is how we can show love even when it is very difficult to do so.

I also learned so much about myself. I realized that my heart can indeed withstand even the most trying and tiring moments in life. It can see and understand even what lies beyond words. It may take offense at first but it can rise above the offense and continue loving. I have always thought I am weak but I realized that I am far from being one. Weak people are those who retaliate when they’ve been wronged. Weak people are those who remain embittered by people’s dishonesty, those who would refuse to seek out real help and would just take matters into their own hands, those who would refuse to accept chances for reconciliation, those who would just let hate win. And I am not weak.

I know that from this day onward, this story shall continue for others involved. But my role in the story ends today. I will be on another route. My wounds have healed. There are scars left but these scars I know, will remind me not of the bad things that happened to me and to everyone involved; but of the good things this experience instilled in me. The path that led me to this day wasn’t an easy one. But the arduous journey was all worth it. I reached my destination in one piece, literally and spiritually.

 

*The “4 days” isn’t really referring to literal 4 days. They just represent the most significant days that made my journey to healing more meaningful. 
Posted in Teacher's Life

Limang Bagay na Natutunan ko Mula sa Pagiging Guro

Sasaglit pa lang ako sa pagtuturo. Ni wala pa yata sa kalingkingan ng mga taong iginugol na ng marami rito. Iyong pawis, boses, at kunot ng noong naibuhos ko, baka gapatak lang ng balde-balde nang naibuhos ng iba; at baka nga ang chalk na naipunas sa uniform ko’t mukha ay baka wala pa kumpara sa nalanghap na’t naibuga ng iba. Pero sa maikling panahon, may natutunan ako.

 

Una, hindi naman talaga madaling masindak ang mga esdudyante sa malalakas na boses. Kunwari lang silang tatahimik kapag tinawag mo ang pangalan nila sa mas mataas at malakas na tinig, pero hindi dahil natakot sila o nag-aalala dahil baka galit ka. Ang iba, napapalingon lang dahil nagulat na may mas malakas pa pala ang boses kaysa sa kanila. Hindi laging napapasunod ng malalakas at matataas na boses ang mga tao. May mga batang mas nakikinig kapag hindi ka sumisigaw, hindi bumubulyaw.

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Pangalawa, hindi laging bumibilib ang mga estudyante sa mga mahilig magsalita at magalit at manermon sa Ingles. Posibleng tumatahimik sila kapag niraratrat mo na sila ng nakakadugong mga salitang baka ni minsan eh hindi pa nila nasilayan man lang sa mga diksyunaryo nila sa bahay, pero hindi iyon garantiyang tumatagos nga ang mga sinasabi mo sa isip, puso, baga, o atay nila. Ang pagpapadugo ng ilong ay kailanman hindi magiging kapantay ng pagpapaintindi sa estudyante ng kung ano ang kaiga-igaya.

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Pangatlo, hindi nakakapagpayaman ang 98, at hindi rin nakakapagpataas ng pagtingin sa sarili o dignidad bilang guro ang pagpapaulan ng 75, kahit na ang 70. Hindi masama ang magbigay ng mataas na grade sa mga sadyang magagaling, bibong mga bata. At hindi rin tama ang pagbaha ng 75 o 70 dahil lang hindi mo feel ang mga hikaw sa ilong, mahaba at mabahong buhok, makapal na make-up, bunging ngipin, malaking ilong, o hapit na pantalon, mas mini pa sa miniskirt na suot, o corny na joke ng estudyante mo. Ibigay lang ang 75 o 70 doon sa mga tamad sa lahat ng bagay, lalo na sa pag-iisip.

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Pang-apat, hindi lahat ng tahimik sa klase, nakikinig. Hindi rin lahat ng bibo at sagot nang sagot ay magulo. Mas madalas pa nga eh baliktad iyan. At kahit totoo rin ito, hindi rin tamang isipin na lahat ng tahimik at walang imik ay walang alam at lumilipad ang utak at na ang lahat ng madada sa klase ay nakakaintindi sa sinasabi mo. Bilang tagapagturo, huwag kang laging naniniwala sa nakikita mo. Tandaan, maraming namamatay sa maling akala. May kanya-kanyang personalidad lang talaga at trip ang mga estudyanteng kaharap mo. Gumawa ka ng paraan, mahirap man iyan o madali na maintindihan ang mga ito.

 

Panglima, hindi libro, o salita, o talino o kaalaman ang totoong sandata o gamit ng isang tagapagturo (mas bata man siya o matanda na). Sabi sa isang public talk na napakinggan ko noong nakaraang buwan lang, pag-ibig daw talaga ang totoong pinakamabisang gamit ng sinumang nagtuturo. Dahil kahit kailan, hindi magiging madali ang tumayo sa harap ng maraming estudyanteng iba-iba ang hilig at ambisyon at dahilan sa pagpasok (lalo na kung 50 sila o higit pa). Kung hindi mo silang kayang mahalin, hindi mo magagawang magturo, o tulungan sila. Baka nga kahit magbigay ng simpleng joke para gisingin ang natutulog na nilang mga utak at pagkatao (dahil alauna ang klase mo) ay hindi mo magawa. Hindi simpleng pagpasok sa classroom, magsulat sa board para may kokopyahin ang mga bata at pagtanggap ng suweldo sa kinsenas at katapusan ang sinusumpaan ng kahit sinong guro. Higit pa ito doon. Dahil buhay ang hawak mo (mga 50 o higit pang buhay), na pwedeng masira, o mapabuti.

 

Hindi ganoon kadali ang isabuhay lahat ng nabanggit ko. Dahil araw-araw na pumapasok ako sa mga klase ko at humaharap sa mga estudyante ko, anuman ang kurso o dahilan pa nila sa pagpasok, dumudugo pa rin ang ilong ko’t kumakabog ang dibdib, at humihiling na sana hindi ko masira ang buhay at mapatay ang pangarap nila. Pero isa lang din ang alam ko’t pinaniniwalaan – kung ibibigay ko ang puso ko sa pagtuturo, ibibigay din ng mga estudyante ang mga puso nila. IMG20170407132934

Posted in Pangasinan Poetry

Say Manpapatanir

Singa kandilan sinibukan,

Diad gapo et wala’y asiwek

a man-an-andawes ed dagem,

ontekkiab patagey, onkayat

anggad akmonen la’y bilunget.

 

Anggapo’y pidumaan,

ed agew ya inkuan kon “paksoten ta la.”

 

Natan et mikakasi ka,

onkekerew na anggan kapukit a liwawa,

balet anggapo lay niiter kon antokaman.

 

Say mangap-apuy ya kandila,

no naksepan lay apoy,

salien ta man a selselan lamet,

pian ombales ed bilunget,

naupot, natunaw lamet.

 

ANG NAMAMAALAM

 

Parang kandilang hinipan,

Sa umpisa, may usok.

Kukumpas- kumpas sa hangin,

Maglalakbay paitaas,

Kakalat.

Hanggang sa kainin ito ng dilim.

 

Walang pinagkaiba

Sa araw na sabihin kong “tama na.”

 

Dumaraing ka ng liwanag.

Pero walang darating.

 

Ang kandilang hinipan,

Sindihan man muli

Upang gumanti sa dilim,

At ito’y lamunin,

Mauupos at mauupos pa rin

 

(Picture’s taken from google.com)

 

Posted in Pieces of Poetry

Pananaliksik

Saan ba hahanapin

ang mga matang hindi kailanman titingin nang pailalim,

hindi magmamatiyag sa pagkatalisod,

at hindi magbabantay sa mantsang maaari pang palalain?

 

Saan ba puwedeng bumaling

ang isang nagtiwala sa dugong

ang sabi-sabi’y mas matimbang pa sa tubig,

ngunit ilang beses nang tinalikuran

para sa pag-abot sa mga makasariling inaasam?

 

Saan kaya maaaring manahan

ang isa nang hindi na nag-aalala,

kung kasunod ba ng pangalan niya ang mapapait na salita

habang siyang nahihimbing na?

Na hindi ginagambala ng mga paghihinala,

kung siya ba’y pinapatay na sa isipan ng iba?

 

Saan nga kaya maaaring

makahanap ng pag-ibig ang isa,

na hindi tila-bahang hanggang tuhod ang lalim,

kundi’y parang dagat

na ang kaibuturan

ay hindi pa nadadampian ng maninisid?

 

Saan nga ba kaya

maaaring pakawalan ang pagmamahal,

nang hindi sinasagot ng sanlibong punyal?

Dahil maniwala kang nagpakita ako nito,

nang walang pamimilit o pagpipigil,

at nakatanggap ako ng

naglalakihan, nagbabagang bato.

 

Dati akong kumapit sa bigkis ng samahan

na nang dumating ang naglalakihang alon,

ay sinadyang kinalas,

upang ako ang malunod.

 

Saan nga ba muli hihila

ng ngiting tulak ng saya?

ng patalim na puputol sa luha?

ng unan at kumot na payapa?

o ng pagkaing may lasa?

 

Saan nga ba susuling ang isa

na kumakapit na lamang

sa panghalina ng paglayo,

para lang maghilom?

Dahil muli, maniwala ka,

gaano man katatag o katanda na ang puso,

napapagod din ito,

at nagsasawang manatiling napapalibutan

ng mga mapagkunwaring payaso.

 

Dahil muli, maniwala ka,

gaano man katatag o katanda na ang puso,

maghahanap din ito ng panibagong uuwian,

na malayo sa sinumang

paulit-ulit na papatay rito.

Posted in My Students' Space

Taking a Chance with Someone from the Past

(by STEFHANIE J. GARIN, ABM Student from Mangaldan National High School in Pangasinan)

It is true that second chances are deserved by everyone. It is not bad to clean the mistakes from the past to make a better, stronger, and well-built version of an individual.

The latest commercial of Globe Telecom hit the social media with 3.1 million views from YouTube and is raising a banner of, “Everyone deserves a second chance.” It captivated the hearts of many Filipinos nationwide because of its contiguous “hugot” advertisement. It is the most touching yet convincing commercial in the country this year so far.

It tells the story of a woman and a man who once became madly in love with each other but got separated just like other unlucky couples do. It started when the woman was in a café shop and decided to check her email. The Facebook’s ‘On This Day’ shared a throwback picture with many memories 4 years ago in the woman’s timeline. A sharp pang of pain hits her as memories appeared slowly from when they started everything. They both met because of their group of friends in a party. They became close friends like there was nothing against them. To make it short, they became happy with each other four years ago. But then, here comes the destiny playing its role so well. The woman saw the man happily chatting with his friends inside the café shop where they also used to have fun. The woman is still insisting to do something but she grabbed her phone and sent a message to the man asking him for a coffee. The man received the message, looked at her with a smile on his face and began to walk into her table. The commercial ended with longing in their hearts and a happy moment that will never be forgotten.

Globe Telecom (Globe) is one of the major providers of telecommunications service in the Philippines and has many shareholders just like Ayala Corporation and Singapore Telecom. Globe produced a satisfying and a meaningful commercial that tries to tell us to give everybody a second chance including them. Many people came up with a conclusion that Globe failed to satisfy their customers for the last few years because of its smaller coverage, slower speeds, capped data and bad customer services. This gives numerous Globe users a reason to switch to other offers. However, through this commercial, Globe wants to fix everything to make their customers be at the best state again.

This commercial makes it so easy to capture the interests of many people nationwide for it was able to tell a story within two minutes that just isn’t told in the current mainstream environment. Teenagers were easily drawn by this kind of advertisement because of many posts that comes out talking about moving on. With love complications to someone they care the most, many can relate in this kind of commercial. And of course, bitter people can’t be out of the scene. These are the people who express their pain and anger by saying and making things that can hurt the feelings of others such as, “Walang Forever!” and “Magbebreak din kayo sa 23!” They surrounded the commercial with many hurtful but valid comments such as, “Not everybody deserves a second chance! Once nagkamali, there’s a big tendency na gagawin ulit.” and “There’s no second chance to those who hurt you badly…except if you love them most as you love your stupidity then…”

This commercial is also just like the “Tuloy Pa Rin” commercial by McDonald with the same genre that talks about the past. But unlike the McDo commercial, “Will you #TakeThatChance” commercial ended with giving each other a second chance to fix the mistakes from their past. The girl in the Mcdo commercial ended with no more chances but chooses to continue her life and help herself from everything that keeps her from moving on.

Everybody in this world has made a mistake at one point. They just need to forgive and forget. Second chances are somewhat worth taking the risk. It is an awesome thing one could have. Whether someone made mistakes or even if they made something terrible, they should forgive each other and make a new start. No one is perfect. Everyone just needs to accept, forgive, and give chances to those people around us.

Will You #TakeThatChance commercial is a wonderful example for people who have difficulties in forgiving someone and still thinking twice on giving them a second chance. It should be acknowledge for its representation about life that gives definite meaning to all. Life is not that long for one to not forgive someone for their mistakes. All people should stay positive at all times and never ever take side with negativities.

The commercial gave its best to have an appreciative and meaningful message. If I were to make a mistake, I would hope to be forgiven and be given a second chance.

Posted in The Road to 30: Moving Forward

Day 3: I’m Home

There is no such thing as getting lost. We wander. We go to places and encounter strange things and faces. But we never forget our way back home. 

I know that my heart is still in pain. I have been telling myself that I am stronger than the pain and that soon, I will be able to rise above it and forget. But I also know that my own strength is not yet enough. I needed to be with people who have seen, known and loved the stronger version of me way before this day. I needed to go back to that one place that first taught me about self-love and confidence. So when I finally had the chance to leave town, I immediately traveled to Baguio, a city that is 2-hour away from where I live. 

The moment I stepped out of the bus, I knew I was home. The cold wind brushing against my face, the sound of taxis and jeepneys passing by, the busy streets…they all are familiar to me. 

On my first night, I ate dinner at a Japanese restaurant with a former colleague and a former student of mine who now calls me ‘Nay, a Tagalog term for Mom. They both knew I wasn’t really doing fine and gave me their time, listened to me as I told my story. And once I was done, both of them smiled and said: “Marami ka pang maaaring pagtuunan ng pansin.” (You can still focus your attention on more important things.) They reminded me of another fact: There are still other more important things in my life. While enjoying our meal, we talked about the careers we now have, the challenges we face everyday while doing our jobs, the plans we have, the possibilities of working abroad or finishing our Master’s, the projects we want to be a part of…and I realized that yes, my life shouldn’t be marred by betrayal committed by people who don’t really care about me. 

I only stayed in Baguio for 2 days and still went back to Pangasinan. But being in Baguio and with people who appreciate me for who I am really gave me peace. 

 

Posted in My Students' Space

It’s More Fun in Baguio

(by KATRINA ROSE TAMAYO, ABM -1 Student of Mangaldan National High School, Pangasinan)

Baguio City, also called City of Pines, is a mountainous place popularly known for abundant pine trees and its everyday-icebucket-challenge weather. Tourists love to visit here especially during summer because of the cold weather, mouth-watering delicacies and astonishing scenic views. Even more museums and art galleries like Bencab can be visited in Baguio portraying the richness and long historical struggle for the preservation of their identity as an ethnic tribe, Igorot.

Travelling to Baguio is challenging. Infrastructures were built on top of the mountains and so the roads are in ups and downs. It is indeed a breath-taking moment being on the edge of a road located at 500 meters above sea level. Zigzag roads are amazing with their firm structure despite of being mountainous place. While on the road we are free to have sight-seeing with the green trees and feel the cold temperature letting us appreciate more the wonders of nature. At the most, travelling also gives us the spur of moment to make some realizations in life. Some of us believe that we will never have the willpower and determination to achieve our goals and plans but in Baguio we can. We all know that clouds are very high to soar and very high to reach but in Baguio there are no barriers. As the bus keeps on moving and keeps on closing to the thick clouds we can be able to touch it and it is like reaching our goals. All we have to do is to have patience and of course go to Baguio.

Upon visiting Baguio, one of the things that a tourist must never forget is to find the delicacies and to buy pasalubongs. Generally, these can be found in Public Market especially the strawberries. Its red color, sweet and seemingly sour taste attracts costumers. Many products have been innovated using strawberries as a flavor such as jam, ice cream, taho and some other foodies. For more information, strawberries that we consume are not actually fruits but only a receptacle.

Lengua De Gato is also a popular product of Baguio. The texture and buttery taste of the cookie makes it a unique product of Baguio. With its affordable price costumers will surely buy many. We can have 8 containers of Lengua De Gato for as low as one hundred pesos.

Baguio is one of the producers of fruits and vegetables. This mountainous place is rich in cabbage, potatoes, Baguio beans, carrots, wombok, sayote and etc. For about 10 pesos price of cabbage we can make already a delicious adobo. Potatoes can be bought at 20 pesos for 1 kilo. With this affordable amount we can be able to make French fries or mashed potatoes. Wombok can be bought at a low of 10 pesos to 15 pesos, while carrots are priced from 5 pesos to 9 pesos and Sayote 8 pesos to 12 pesos. Fruits are also at a low price just like oranges, apples and lemons. We can buy 1 kilo of the following fruits for about 20-40 pesos, unlike in other places like Manila. These fruits cost 20 pesos for just one piece. Since its soil is rich in nutrients, we can live there by ourselves through planting.

Eating those foods makes our body back to its condition from the tiring travel. We need to burn the fats gained from the foods eaten while exploring Public Market. Be an explorer like Dora and be an adventurous in visiting new places.

Baguio will never be Baguio without the Burnham Park. Walking around this place is worth it. We can rent a boat and row around the man-made lake for about 60 pesos. We can also have a picnic, go biking and watch a football game around the area.

The Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral adapted the Gothic style of Renaissance Period that is why many tourists love to have and take pictures here. Our Lady of Atonement is a patronage for those sinners who wanted to have a change in life and so people from far places would go to this place despite of the long distance.

Bencab Museum is known for its different paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints made by a national artist and the master of contemporary art, Benedicto Cabrera. One of the eye- grabber in the museum is the Erotica Gallery that has many paintings, drawings, sculptures and some works of various artists with an erotic theme and subject.

Lourdes Grotto is also a beautiful place in Baguio, yet challenging. Since it is located in the Dominican hill, it is a must-climb 252 steps in order to reach the altar of Lourdes Grotto. However the hardships are worth the pain because beautiful scenic view of mountainsides is waiting. It is very fulfilling when you have done something good and when good fruits are the results of your efforts.

Panagbenga is one of the most exciting and anticipating festival of the year. It is a festival of many and different kinds of flowers. Floats from different sponsors and artists from GMA and ABS-CBN are one of their major events that is why tourists from far places love to watch live in Baguio rather than watching in their homes. Since City of Pines is popularly known for its Panagbenga, there is a place that has wide range of herbal, flowering, and decorative plants called Botanical Garden. Even some plants are not for sale, it can be visited and take pictures with a wonderful and colorful background.

Visiting Baguio is not boring. It is very interesting and exciting to know their way of living and exposing oneself to different tourist spots. For the first-timers it is good to visit in February because it is the month when Baguio is coldest and when flower festival is celebrated. Many known personalities will be riding in float parades. It is also the time where the prices of the different ‘pasalubongs’ are at low price.

Going to Baguio is more than the worth of your travel expenses because the experiences   are not for sale, it is for you to take a break and prepare to sail.

(photo used was taken by Moe Abellera)