Sa Kumbento ni PadrePio

Abandon sanity, all ye who enter.


Personal Essays

On Mining

According to a research done by the IBON Foundation, regions with biggest mining activities are among the poorest in the Philippines.

I can attest to this.

I have lived and grew up in a heavily mined island and I have yet to see my fellow islanders’ quality of life improving because of the mining activities.

What have we got instead? Continue reading “On Mining”


Boredom, the Silent Killer

There’s a new killer in town and Boredom is its name. In today’s age where instant gratification is the norm, it thrives. . . it feasts.

Boredom is the silent killer. And once you get stalked by it, you’re screwed. Life for you will become a chore, even the things that you use to enjoy. Apathy and indifference will come to you, walking hand in hand. And as they get closer and closer, that feeling of unusual tiredness of the soul and body will start to creep in. Finally, when boredom has you locked-in inside her tight embrace, evil and good will become indistinguishable to you because you will feel nothing. You will stop caring and become numb to the sad plight of others and yourself. Even while you breath, you are already dead inside. Your daily corporeal existence will become unbearable, to the point where you will eventually realize that the only reasonable thing left to do would be to end your life and sleep for all eternity.

So you took a shortcut. You ended your life. But did you finally become free from the oppressive clutches of boredom?

No, you didn’t. You just came full circle. You killed yourself because you felt nothing. But now you have become nothing; nothing but a distant and painful memory. . . a lingering dust on the face of the earth waiting to be swept away by the winds.

You are now nothing. And so boredom claimed you.

Are You Collecting Butts?

Back in the day when internet was still an alien concept, opinions used to be widely repressed. If you had lived in the Middle Ages, telling your neighbor that you saw the town priest rolling in the hay with the tanner’s wife would have cost you your tongue. People back then were so used to being subjugated by a higher power that they would instantly cower at the thought of even voicing something out. The town baker’s bread is moldy, you say? Don’t even think of telling it to his face. He might not let you buy bread next time; quite a quandary since he’s the only baker in town. Grumbling about the high rents set by the lord? Don’t you dare whisper it. Before the sun sets, you’re sure to have a heavily tortured limb. A lord is usually not a forgiving man.

The advent of the 20th Century heralded the era of revolutions and counter-revolutions. Rebellions and oppositions against established rules permeated the air. At this point, ordinary people began to think that their own opinions actually mattered; that they have a say on almost anything under the sun — from how their country should be governed and to what color of undergarment they should wear. And so, kingdoms fell, empires collapsed and the mighty kings and emperors were cast down from their golden thrones and generally buried six feet under the ground. And it’s all because ordinary people began to give importance to their own opinions.

From then on, with democracy and freedom spreading through the winds, ordinary people started to exert influence on the order of things. Corporations, politicians and businesses paid obeisance to the common person and his opinion. They became dependent on the whims, tastes and moods of the masses.

And then came the era of the internet and social networking. Continue reading “Are You Collecting Butts?”

Nakausap Ko Si Padre Damaso

Noong nakaraang linggo ay merong ipinatawag na Synod ang simbahan. At bilang isang pari, isa ako sa mga dumalo. Ang lahat kasi ng mga lingkod ng Dyos dito sa Pilipinas ay ni-require na mag-attend. Kahit yung mga prayle noong panahon ng Kastila ay imbitado. Nag-provide ang simbahan ng teleportation machine (courtesy of Engr. Dinggel) para lamang maka-dalo sila sa Synod.

Nagkaroon ako ng tsansang makausap si Padre Damaso noong break time. Tama ang paglarawan ni Rizal sa kanya. Pandak ito at mataba. At ang ilong niya’y mamula-mula, na para bang hahatsingin anumang oras.

Sa maikling panahon na iyon ay naikuwento niya sa akin na meron daw bagong dating sa kanilang bayan na anak ng isang mayamang pamilya. At malakas daw ang kutob niya na may masamang pakay ang taong iyon. Nang mabanggit niyang Crisostomo Ibarra ang pangalan ng taong ikinukuwento niya ay di na lang ako umimik. Continue reading “Nakausap Ko Si Padre Damaso”

Ba’t Ganun si Pablo Neruda?

Ba’t ganun si Pablo Neruda?

Dapat ba ang love parang commandment sa Old Testament? Yung ‘an eye for an eye’? A love for a love?

‘Ang tawag dito ay selfish love,’ pagdedeklara ni Mang Paking.

If I gave you a kilo of love, then you should give me a kilo of love as well. And no, don’t even bother to cheat me a few grams or the deal is off. Love me and I’ll love you back. Tit for tat. Quid pro quo.

‘Sad but true,’ dagdag pa ni Mang Paking. Continue reading “Ba’t Ganun si Pablo Neruda?”

María la del Barrio

Her name was Maria and she was one of the strongest woman I ever knew.

John Travolta once said, “They say the hardest thing in the world is losing a parent. I can now say that isn’t true. The hardest thing in the world is losing a child. Someone you raised and watched grow every day. Someone you taught how to walk and talk. Someone you showed how to love. It’s the worst thing to ever happen to anyone,”

Maria lost five of her 11 children while she lived. One can only imagine the unbearable pain and suffering she had to endure everyday of her life. Losing a child is devastating. But losing five of them? It’s beyond grief.

And yet, Maria bore her suffering silently, her resilience becoming a comforting glow of warmth and a source of inspiration. Continue reading “María la del Barrio”

Where in the World is Pagbabangnan?

I woke up from my slumber half dizzy and disoriented. Worse, I felt numb all over, like I’d just been given a one-liter shot of anesthesia. And as I tried to turn my head to the glass-paned window where the soft glimmer of the afternoon sun was seeping through, a thousand needles seemed to stab my whole body with varying intensity, making me wince from the sudden jolt of pain. Continue reading “Where in the World is Pagbabangnan?”

Yes, It’s Okay

A friend once told me she was thinking of committing suicide.

I told her it’s okay.

Her eyes turned as big as saucers so I explained a little more.

Continue reading “Yes, It’s Okay”

To Problem or Not to Problem

Is ‘problem’ a verb?

Yes, if you’re in the Philippines. It’s a kind of Filipinoism that is generally accepted in informal conversations. There’s a popular saying that goes: ‘Don’t problem your problem. Let your problem problem your problem.’ The use of ‘problem’ as a verb, however, is frowned upon in formal writing and would probably get you a failing grade if you include it in your college essay.

But now, to the million-dollar question…

Should we problem our problem? Continue reading “To Problem or Not to Problem”

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: