Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Veiled Heroism of Antonio Luna and his Inaudible Outcries

 

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Introduction

Captain Jose Joven of the army of the Republic, and Aguinaldo’s English interpreter noted on April 30, 1901:

“in truth he (Aguinaldo) recognized the gifts of the deceased General, but he preferred to kill him because he says there was no other remedy in view of the civil war which the said General was preparing.”

It really annoys me when some people could be so unfair because of political agendas. Last March 22 was Don Emilio Aguinaldo day, but after having read about the tragic death of Gen. Antonio Luna and the connection therein of the former, it is now questionable to consider Aguinaldo’s part in the Philippine history. Well, he had his part, though; dreary and ghastly I should say. Gen. Antonio Luna was the real hero. His occasional and uncanny display of bad temper may had always been his weakness of character, but he remained the icon of bravery, of a selfless patriot and revolutionary democrat at a time when the Revolution has no known limits. He was indeed a figure who could had made a change if only given the chance to, but defeated by a merciless conspiracy leaving that part of the Philippine history still, nothing but a dismal.

Antonio Luna – more than just a fierytempered man
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It has been mentioned that it is distinctive among the Luna clan the characteristic “brutal temper” and the “lack of pakikisama”. Moreover, if he had only learned how to control the aforementioned qualities, he may had been a stronger and a better man. There were moments that he was able to contain the extreme of his emotions, there were just some incidents of unbelievable twist of circumstances and lack of fair judgments that sometimes drives him out of the nutshell. In cases such this he was given the nicknames of “Cafre” or “General Article One”.
As I read his biography, I can’t help but feel pretty much amazed and surprised to have learned that the general and hero of the revolution is more than just a mere general after all. He possessed a variety of talents, quite impressive I would say. Though he may not seem as great as Rizal at that time, his achievements were exemplary. He graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Ateneo at the age of 15, and at 19 studied pharmacy at the University of Santo Tomas but finished it in Barcelona, Spain. He got his Doctor of Medicine at Central University of Madrid before he later on studied in France and Belgium. He was also a good guitarist, having known of the Lunas as inclined to arts and music. Aside from the knowledge of Spanish and Tagalog, he was also studying English at that time. He was also an exceptional writer, writing in La Solidaridad under the pen name of “Taga-Ilog” and managing the paper, La Independencia as well. He was the editor of La Independencia of which the first issue was released on September 3, 1898. General Antonio Luna was also a chemist in the Municipal Laboratory of Manila. He won an award for a scientific paper on malaria and had training on pasteurization of water and carabao milk from Pasteur Institute in Paris. It had been stated that if Antonio Luna didn’t join the revolution and continued his practice in chemistry, he could have saved Apolinario Mabini from dying of cholera after drinking an infected “gatas damulag” or carabao’s milk. Of which by the way is the real cause of Mabini’s death and not by affliction of some sort of paralysis as we know today. Filipinos at that time had by no means any knowledge of pasteurization, or even boiling water before drinking it.
He was deported to Spain with his brother Juan (the painter) and was imprisoned in Carcel Modelo de Madrid in 1897, and then he pursued to study military tactics after his release. He became a master mason in Spain and was among those who revived the Lodge Solidaridad 53. He also worked in the Propaganda Movement along with contemporaries such as Rizal, del Pilar, Lopez Jaena and Mariano Ponce. And while he’s in Ghent, Belgium, he was under the tutorship of General Leman, the hero of Belgium, improving his knowledge of guerilla warfare. Of which he later on proposed under the government of Aguinaldo to be used against the enemies.

The mystery behind the moustache

I don’t know why Ambeth Ocampo is making such fuzz on Antonio Luna’s moustache. You could fairly see this on his articles. Well, maybe there really is something extraordinary about Luna’s moustache, is there? Except for the exquisite curl of the hairs over his upper lip, which he also shares with his brother Juan Luna, it is indeed quite peculiar to find someone who conveys such “elegance” in such a period in history when everything is almost in despair. Or it may have as well served as his form of distinction all these years. Jose Rizal has the characteristic one-sided hairdo, Andres Bonifacio with the kamisatsino (well, it may have been his only choice for clothes to wear considering his status quo), and Apolinario Mabini on his hammock (he’s a paralytic that’s why). I remember how I always chuckle mischievously asking some people I know with, “do you know who Antonio Luna is?” and they would give out either of two replies. First was with, “oh, the painter?” and I’ll just correct them saying he’s not the one but it’s his brother who paints. The second with, “hmm, Antonio Luna…the guy with the moustache?” and followed by a demonstration of their hands, fingers arching over their lip to describe, indeed, Antonio Luna’s curly moustache. As much as Ambeth Ocampo’s curiosity on how Luna was able to keep his moustache that way so as my inquisitive mind can’t help but wonder what there really is in his unique moustache. Or is there really something to make fuzz about? I have yet to find out.

A revolutionary democrat – exactly what our country needs

What separates Antonio Luna from the others is – his single obsession for independence and liberty from any invaders, Americans per se. This had been his sole “mission” all along. For what more could an Antonio Luna aspire? He came from a mestizo family of Badoc, Ilocos Norte though he was a Manileño by heart, having been born on October 29, 1868 in Binondo, Manila. He was the youngest of the seven children of Joaquin Luna de San Pedro and Laurena Novicio.
“Some” have been questioning Antonio Luna’s being a hero. They say, he hadn’t done anything quite remarkable except that he had been affiliated with Rizal. As a matter of fact, he was the one Rizal had chosen to mediate between the rich and educated class and the masses. Rizal wanted Luna to join the Katipunan but Luna refused perceiving as what Rizal had first thought of as a revolution would be untimely at the moment. However, this had been the major error he had committed. If he didn’t denounce the Katipunan, its members wouldn’t disagree on him. If he had not squealed, some members of the Katipunan and Rizal even wouldn’t have been killed. On the other hand, his comrade Alejandrino explained that:

“…with the physical and moral tortures he suffered during his imprisonment and on the assurance given him by the Spaniards that he had been squealed on by his friends, who had denounced him as an accomplice in the rebellion, his violent character had made his lose better judgment. And having fallen for the scheme woven by the Spaniards, he had declared that those who denounced him were, more guilty than he.”

The irony of revolution…a strong voice unheard


What so devastating with reading historical documents is that, you see both sides of the story (that is, if the sources are unbiased). Devastating in a way that, you get to picture out the exact scene in your mind, realize what went wrong and just sigh in disappointment uttering a bunch of “if only”. Sometimes it really gets in the nerves that you just can’t help but get frustrated even how our history had been soaked up with a number of “interventions”. You get to recognize the “tricks” and misinformation fed in opposing parties and you’ll find out that it was nobody’s fault that both sides clashed into war against each other instead of dealing with the real enemies of the state. But then only realizing that “gone is gone”. Oh, how much of our historical past have been concealing still behind the closets of our heritage waiting to be revived and be known.
If Aguinaldo’s side didn’t listen to these “sugar-coating” and propaganda tactics of the Americans, and if they only chose to understand more of the side of Luna, we could had long won the war against the Americans without resulting to so much casualties with the ingenious abilities of the latter. The problem is that, there had been so many conspiracies brought about by individual thirst for power. Nobody fully believed in the capabilities of Antonio Luna. Or they could have known and feared his potentials. It was the lack of trust and the cultivation of individual self-interests at that time that proved even more detrimental.
Another thing is that, everyone favored the revolution, but not the science of revolution Luna had been trying to impose. To them, it’s just like, “tara! Sugurin ang kalaban!” they never realized that to really win a battle, they should be well armed and prepared. This what had been the philosophy of Luna that nobody ever paid real attention to. As seen in the following selection, when Luna proposed to Aguinaldo a plan in preparation for the outbreak of war:

“But Luna and Alejandro were not heeded; no trenches were built; the Americans fired, the Republic was caught by surprise. Then Luna was hastily made chief of operations and set to building those trenches of his. But it was too late, too late even to improvise. Caloocan fell in a week.”

Alejandrino also said:

“If instead of 40 or 50 of such volunteers there had been 2, 000 or 3,000, as Luna wanted, the course of events would have changed.”

If he hadn’t been constantly and intentionally being ignored by the Kawit clan in their preservation of their so-called “cavitism” that they tend not to recognize any rule or order other than that of Aguinaldo, the Philippines could had long attained its independence.

On Luna’s Death

I must note Nick Joaquin’s account on Antonio Luna’s death on June 5, 1899 in Cabanatuan was rather “touchy” as he left with so many questions that even I ended up asking them myself. Was Aguinaldo really to blame of Luna’s death or was he just a victim of the circumstances as well?
I felt sorry for Antonio Luna for they had all been unfair to him. If I had been in his place, I would have been ill tempered, bitter and indifferent too – being unheard and deprived of authority. What could prove more heartbreaking than the lack of support and trust from the people who say is fighting for just the same cause? Sometimes, I just want to get mad at Aguinaldo for all these – for losing such a great man. But no one really knows in accurate account what really took place so many decades ago. The conspiracy against Luna was harsh that it seemed as if, in his assassination at Cabanatuan, he died without even knowing it. If he wanted to overthrow Aguinaldo from his position through a coup de etat, he could have just simply taken up arms against Aguinaldo instead of resigning and later on sending him a telegram of a proposal of a new Republic. And if since the start he was aware about this unscrupulous plan Aguinaldo is planning against him, he could have avoided being killed if he just hadn’t appeared in Cabanatuan where the president summoned him. But he wasn’t distrustful nor suspicious that he even left his accompaniment outside the premises leaving him unarmed and vulnerable as he entered Aguinaldo’s camp.

Conclusion

“I touched reality and in touching it, I felt the same pain produced by a cancerous wound on the finger.” – Antonio Luna

I guess what Antonio Luna is trying to say on this is that, it would have been more acceptable if it was the enemies’ bullets that shot and killed him but no, it was rather the hands of his very own fellow Filipinos who inflicted him with 40 wounds. It would even be more worth it if he died of fighting for the country but no, he was a victim of those green-eyed monsters lurking behind the masks of “defenders of the country”.
Antonio Luna was one of the great men of history. The Filipinos could have benefited from his potentials if everyone at that time had been altruistic enough to mind the real freedom of the Philippines instead of leaning behind the murky walls of the cruel invaders for their own welfare.
I would have to agree with Vivencio Jose in declaring Antonio Luna as “an enduring hero who lives from one generation to another, one of the truly great leaders of the Filipino people.”
We need an Antonio Luna today. A different Antonio Luna, maybe. Not someone who would not be listened to but, someone with the same act of bravery. Someone who’s intelligent enough to recognize the true horrors of what is going on in our present state of government and as well as the society, and do something about it.

REFERENCES

Alba, R. (1994). Talambuhay ng mga Bayani at mga Dakilang Pilipino. Caloocan City : Mizrack
Publications.

Ocampo, A. (1990). Looking Back. Pasig: Anvil Publishing Inc.

Ocampo, A. (1990). Luna’s Moustache. Pasig: Anvil Publishing Inc.

Joaquin, N. (1977). A Question of Heroes: Essays in Criticism on Ten Key Figures of Philippine
History. Makati: Ayala Museum, Filipinas Foundation.

Jose, V. (1972). The Rise and Fall of Antonio Luna. UP Diliman: Philippine Social Sciences and
Humanities Review.

“Antonio Luna,” (2006). Retrieved on March 18,
2006 at http://www.mb.com.ph/issues/2004/06/05/OPED2004060511128.

“Famous Filipino Masons,” (2006). Retrieved on March 18, 2006 at
http://www.glphils.org/famous-masons/faluna.htm.

“General Antonio Luna,” (2006). Retrieved on March 18, 2006 at
http://www.superluwi.com/scroll/heroes.html.

Author:

Ma. Joanna B. Torres is a 3rd year student of University of the Philippines Manila taking up BS Occupational Therapy

02:45 Posted in Literature | Permalink | Comments (51) | Tags: life

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Memoirs of Suffocating Silence -part 1

PROLOGUE


Memoirs of Suffocating Silence

by

MOONLIGHT BUTTERFLY

 

"Do you really think something is wrong, Maggie?"

"I don't know, it's just this gut feeling...It just happens...I could feel.."

Suddenly, a loud cry resounded from the kitchen at the first floor. It was Sally calling her for dinner.

"Coming mom!" she shouted back."I'll get back to you later," she whispered to her conversant and then she hurried her steps downstairs.

Maggie met her at the foot of the stairs and throwing her a suspicious look, she asked.

"Who is that you are talking with?"

She stared past her and seated herself beside the dining table.

"Nothing mom...," she whispered as she reached the bowl of steaming cream of mushroom soup a couple of inches away.

"How many times have I told you to do your homework early so you won't have to stay up late?" a firm but, soft still, voice spoke.

"And how many times, still, do I have to tell you just how much I hate mushrooms..." Maggie grimaced as she spoons the button mushrooms one by one from her bowl. "...and I thought you're my mom," she continued and Sally just gave her a sigh.

Maggie is a petite,an eighteen-year old, long-haired lass; white and freckled. Sally, on the other hand, is about to near her thirties but still manage to maintain her slim figure and exquisite beauty despite of days hardwork.

It has been almost three years since they moved to St. Louis Ville and so much has happened. So much that up to this point in time, Sally wasn't able to adjust still to the complexities of the situation. St. Louis Ville, to her, has almost everything. And she thought she could finally breathe out the horrors of the past to start off with a new life, and yet, everything around her only seems to remind her of what had gone through.

As she watched the girl in front of her taking her spoonfuls of rice and chicken, she could only imagine the days that had elapsed that she lost track of time. Everything had simply gotten out of control and it's more intricating than she had ever imagined. Everything's just so complicated now...

"Why aren't you touching your food, mom?" the girl spoke and Sally was revived out of her reverie. She smiled back at her and started eating her supper then.

"Darren was here a couple of minutes ago. He thought he should check on you...I said you were upstairs and.."

"Oh, that guy...," Maggie interrupted."Who is he again? Oh, our neighbor...I see...Don't be so close with that guy, Sally," she stared at Sally with that usual blank expression on her face which has always made it difficult for her to guess what has been going on in her mind.

"...you don't need him...Sally. You don't need men..." she added.

As much as Sally was surprised with what Maggie remarked, she was even more worried about the little damsel in distress. She could only frown with what she heard from her and she can't help but feel pangs of loneliness inside her. It was only yesterday that she was able to witness how good they are as a couple, Maggie and Darren, and how ironic it is now that he has been reduced to almost nothing, a total stranger to her. It seemed like they never loved each other or even knew each other. To her, it seemed as if Darren is just a name she never before heard.

A couple of minutes later, Maggie stood and walked back to ascend the stairs as Sally watched her. She was about to take the fifth step when she turned to sally's direction, and Sally was caught with a hint of surprise and at the same time, bewilderment. Perplexities that only grew more when she heard her spoke.

"Bianca's coming over with me to school tomorrow...Well, I figured it's about time that she get out of this rathole," she grinned, then she continued her steps.

Sally gazed at the girl's silhouette as it disappear before her to the top of the house, wide-eyed and bemused. The glass of lemonade she was holding all of a sudden escaped her grip and fell right out of her hands down to the floor.

"God...just what am I suppose to do.."

The crack of glass with the pouring of water had created a sound like that of an exotic wind chime that stands before a solitary hill. A piece of music played slow mo and everything else came into a stop. It never before sounded so sweet and ethereal...

>>>TO BE CONTINUED...

07:55 Posted in Literature | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: Life

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The fallacy of "Mr. Right"

We always search for that ideal partner to be with. Someone who would match our standards of “Mr. Right.” But is there really such a thing as Mr. Right? And how do we know who is the “one”? More often than not, when we plot the search for Mr. Right, we stumble on a journey to find Mr. Perfect instead. And Mr. Perfect does not necessarily mean Mr. Right. He may seem to have it all – good looks, great personality, etc. but without that single factor we all crave for – love - it’s useless. The problem is that, before we actually get into a relationship, we already have in mind the “ideal scenario” we anticipate. We already have a pre-made “love fairytale” in our minds that once everything didn’t take place as what we had expected, we feel devastated. What we don’t realize is that, we make someone the right one for us by learning to appreciate and accept him holistically. Because we don’t actually set our standards for the ideal person whom we’re going to spend life with, but our standards adjust to what qualities our significant other posses. One incident that I find this thing about “Mr. Right” fallacious is when we get our heart broken. Our friends will say then, “stop crying, he’s not worth it. He’s not the “one” for you. Why don’t you just wait for the right one?” But then again, how can they say such things? Why do we say he’s not the right one…just because we got hurt? Or because he didn’t love us back the way we want to? Does love always have to be reciprocal? I guess…or it wouldn’t be called “love” after all. That’s why in relationships, it’s impossible to find someone who will never hurt us…we just have to go for the one who makes the pain all worth it.

11:00 Posted in Blog | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: Life

Friday, January 06, 2006

Our Frequent Visitor

Whenever I watch this little cat climb down the stairs, there’s always a feeling of joy that comes over me. Its fur is colored white and gray, and it has this very gentle look on its face. But as delicate as it may appear, it’s so hostile that whenever I’ll approach it, it immediately run away. So there…it just comes in our house whenever it wants to. My mom and I decided to tame it by offering it food so every lunch and dinner it comes inside our house but all our attempts failed. We still don’t get to own the cute little pussycin, it always flee.


And I wonder…how in real life it had always seemed that way. Sometimes we long to keep those things that we cannot and can never have…and that’s why we always get hurt. Like in taming our hostile visitor, sometimes, you cannot push someone to stay for good when he or she is not meant to be a permanent part of your life. People come and go into our lives but we never know who stays for real.


Is it our fault?…for not knowing how to take care of them when they’re still there? Or is it not just meant to be? But then again, we don’t even have the slightest idea that they will ever leave. We are so comfortable that they will remain and will stay just right there when we need them. Another problem is, we don’t know how to let go…once they’ve already become a special part of our lives. But the question is, do we really have to let go?


Sometimes I ask myself why I still have to meet people who will just leave me at the end…now that I’ve learned to cling on them for I have found the comfort and the security in them. Then I realized that one should not worry about what he or she is going to do once people step out of his/her world, but it is a matter of knowing how to keep them while they’re still there…while chances are still there for you to hold them tight so they would never have to leave.


Love is like a butterfly; the more you chase it the more it flees. Just spread your palms and it will land when it needs to rest…


Exactly like what the quote says, we don’t really have to be pressured with keeping people in our lives. One must realize that if you want someone to stay, give him/her room to breathe.


They say, destiny chooses who comes into our lives but it is the heart that decides who stays inside. But what if the one our heart chose and wished to stay is not really meant for the keeping? It’s quite devastating, yes, but like what has been said before…wait.


Patience is indeed a virtue. Once you learn to wait, you’ll figure out soon what he/she really meant in your life.


What if I wait and nothing happens still?


Waiting and anticipating are two exact opposite things. While waiting, you can get on with your life, do what you usually do, study etc…when you anticipate, it’s like a part of you is dwelling with false hopes.


Don’t anticipate for the clouds to pour snow…


Wait if there will be a snowfall.


 


Don’t anticipate for the water to run dry…


Wait until it runs dry.


…don’t anticipate for his/her return, just wait if he/she will return…and that’s when you will know that he/she have realized that there was something he/she left on his/her way that was a great part of himself/herself…you!


But what if such ideal scenario doesn’t happen?


Then it really is not meant to be. When something is not meant to be…no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try…it never will. It is the time then to finally let go.


Why do we always long for the things we can never have and are not even meant for us that we get frustrated even? It is because… why would you wish to get hold of something you already possess?


 


Yes, that is life…a series of roads full of complexities and questions, and we never stop living until we figure out all the answers.


08:22 Posted in Blog | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: Life

Monday, July 25, 2005

OT100 Disability Day Report: Trying on Someone Else’s “Imperfect” Shoe

  Being a handicapped person or someone who has a disability is very difficult, even more when you have to live with it. You get ridiculed and ignored as if you have been trying to spread a plague whatsoever. People may be kind to those who are or who have been disabled physically but it is the ones who have mental illness who were often rejected and misunderstood. This is what I had to go through during the OT100 Disability Day last July 11, 2005 from 8 in the morning to 12 noon as I tried to simulate a person with mental and/or behavioral illness. Four hours of enduring an intricate task which had enlightened me and made me realize that though some individual may be different, still, we all are the same – we are human beings created by God.
My assigned disability was Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This disorder occurs mostly during childhood and if not treated at early age might continue until adulthood. Among the common manifestations of this disorder are: inattentiveness, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. A child with ADHD has poor memory, poor communication skills, hyperactive and acts without thinking. He is restless and finds answering homework far more difficult than other children. He cannot focus on one task for long for he easily gets bored and impatient. He also has the tendency to develop other disorders such as bipolar disorder and conduct disorder.
Since I was simulating an adolescent with ADHD, I had first conducted a mini research on how this kind of disorder manifests among teenagers of my age. Definitely it would be a lot different in adolescents than that of children. And I learned that the degree of hyperactivity sort of decreases but evidences of poor attention and slow mental capacity is still present. So I planned early on how I am going to simulate the disability and listed down some activities or acts I could perform on the disability day per se, like always fidgeting on my seat during our ride on the jeepney and never seeming to stay in one place, inability to stare and focus on anything for a long time, not paying attention when someone will talk to me and avoiding eye contacts, pointing at objects that will catch my attention, blurting out random things, doing this mannerism of twitching my face I devised myself etc.
The place where I had to simulate my assigned disability was at Isetann Recto. The general status of people there was that of “middle class”. There are a lot of vendors, workers and some students. They wouldn’t actually throw violent reactions at me since I was wearing the typical shirt and jeans of a teenager and I am cleaner as compared to my other block mates who were simulating people with bipolar disorder until I would show some signs of “weirdness” that they’d look at me in annoyance or they’d laugh at me. Because they had no idea what I am going about and I doubt it if they even know what ADHD is, they’d just simply turn away not seeming to care or they would stare at me as if I had the strangest look in the world!
Mostly, the students or the people of my age were the ones who are less understanding. There is this one guy I asked for direction and when he’d started talking I tried not to pay any attention pretending I saw something strange in the sky, then he uttered, “may diperensya ata ‘to eh”. And his entire friend laughed. While we were on the jeepney, I began my “theatrical act” of restlessness, trying to appear impatient and irritated, and all the people inside the jeep looked at me with question marks on their faces, while some are already getting irritated with me. However, there is this one woman I encountered whom I could never forget. I was about to cross the streets, and she too. When there were no other vehicles that seem to pass by and the road was free for the pedestrians, she must had noticed me somewhat unaware of reality that she decided to pull me by the arm to cross the streets with her. It was really nice for her to do that.
It was really a different feeling to pretend as someone whom other people think of as less capable for a person. Though majority of the people were indifferent to people with disabilities most especially with those suffering from mental illness, there are still few who were kind enough to even ask what’s wrong with me and it made me feel that somehow there are still some who are willing to care.
One of the difficulties I encountered during our Disability Day was how to make other people notice me and to convince them I have ADHD. Almost everybody thinks of insanity as a generic for all mental illnesses regardless of whether it is schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression or mania. Another thing is that, people with ADHD have the tendency to develop conduct disorder and manic-depressiveness, so it was certainly a challenge for me to think of acts where in I could show manifestations of ADHD in me and at the same time, staying out of trouble. So I just tried to do acts that are a little bit more discreet like trying to enter at the exit gate of Isetann, getting hold of some items in the store for a long time but not to the point of putting it to my pocket and though I blurt out random words, I tried not to scream foul words.
The accessibility of the place in relation to people with ADHD, I believe, is fair since people with ADHD are not as dirty-looking as those who are severely affected by disorganized schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They even get to study and work as normal people do. More often than not, ADHD in teenagers is not that obvious than that in children. I easily got inside the mall, and even my other block mates who almost seemed like taong grasa as they simulate people with bipolar disorder. But the amount of support people with mental illness get is relatively few as compared to that of the people with physical disabilities because they are often misconceived as dangerous. They are the ones often marginalized by the society, and even if there are institutions that are willing to help them, there is not a single person willing to put them in.
People with disabilities deserve proper care and respect. Yes, they may not be able to do what others can but this does not permit us to laugh at them, call them names or to stay away from them but instead do something to help them. I, as a student, may not have that much of help and support to provide them but I could start off by educating other people around me to avoid further misconceptions and discriminations to PWDs. I believe education is a vital tool for understanding. And by learning how these people go through life’s indifferences, we could then help them cope with life better.
It is funny how I used to tell my friend whenever we see the woman with a mental disorder in front of the Department of Justice how I wonder what people like her think and feel, how they became like that and what they are like before they lost their sense of reality. Now, I had at least some idea about their situation by experiencing to be one during our last Disability Day.
The OT100 Disability Day is indeed a very worthwhile activity. It may be a pre-requisite for a major subject in college I am taking up right now but it also provided me the knowledge about people with disabilities and thus made me appreciate Occupational Therapy more. It helped me realize that I am on the right track all along. This activity helped me understood more about PWDs most especially those with mental illness. I understand now that they need care and support from the environment and from the society to at least live as normal people do, for to be able to understand other people around you means being on the other person’s shoe. And this made me decide to pursue OT to be able to help these people.
This activity had been very meaningful for me in studying other people with disability. It can be improved more if a student was put in a variety of setting during the simulation to elicit different reactions of people from different statuses. I had a lot of fun and I learned so much from the activity. It was in fact the strangest yet most fruitful four hours of my life.
Ma. Joanna B. Torres
2004-36778

14:10 Posted in Occupational Therapy | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tags: Life

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

There are two things I now know the answers of…


A very special friend once asked me… “What’s the sense of being in a relationship when the two of you can be the best of friends?”

I just sighed in affirmation though we may have contradicting views on love and relationships.

As I see it… lovers first start off by being friends. And I think that good relationships begin that way. Because they had a longer time getting to know one another so it is easier for them to get along very well.
I remember a gal friend told me before, when she was narrating her breakup with her boyfriend. “How I wish we had started off as friends first…” and so the guy spoke to her and they agreed that they’d be friends first and see if everything could work out well the second time. And later she came back to me crying…it no longer worked.
Lovers can later be best friends. But it’s different when your friends , even more when you’ve learned to consider one another as the best friends you can always count on to…the friendship disappears when love comes in between. Because you don’t know now where to put yourself into position! I know most of you wouldn’t actually agree on this but…going back to the question again… the answer lies to the kiss. A kiss is an involuntary act that connects two people often associated with a mixture of different feelings… (that is if it is true). It is a sort of magic that brought two people together out of the real world for a moment…and some says… the time seems to come into a stop.
Tell me, if the feelings of a man for a woman who happens to be his friend evolved into something more that one day he woke up feeling that he never would want to leave her side anymore… can a man still kiss a woman with the same old feeling…? Would it still be the same kiss? Can friends kiss each other on the lips?? No. because if one of them gave in, the feelings break loose…no matter how they deny to themselves, they cannot erase the fact that indeed things have changed and that everything is no longer the same… so that’s the phase when you experience “weighing situations”….do I love him/her already? But what if this feeling only breaks us apart? I can’t afford to lose him/her… Like in my personal experience - we used to be very dear friends, but when emotions grew between us…I didn’t just lose the man I loved, I also lost my friend.
When you are committed to one another, that then sets the boundary between friendship and romantic love. There are certain things that you can do as a lover that you cannot do as a friend, and vice versa.
And so I believe…

A man and a woman could never ever be just friends… there would always be something that comes in between. Something that is more powerful, more perplex and yet even more. Something that is God-made.

Hmm… the other thing I am talking about… well, I’ll just keep it to myself in the mean time...until I finally figure it out…for sure, that is.

oh well, someday i hope to stand corrected...let's see...

11:45 Posted in Emotions | Permalink | Comments (4) | Tags: Life

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Who are you…the guy in my dream?



I just woke up feeling so light from a very good sleep. Not just because for once I had a complete ten hours of sleep, haha! But it was also raining hard last night and the bed sheets felt cold and soft… and I had this strange dream. And throughout the day I just can’t control this stupid mouth of mine from smiling.
I can’t quite recall the whole of it but all I could remember is that during my entire dream I was running with this man, our hands holding one another as he lead the way while I just follow behind. I can’t remember why we were running or where we were running from. All I know is that we are in that white and multi-storey building. As we walk and run together from one floor to another, holding each other’s hands (handcuffed sometimes, finger laced), we would see on the way all the people that I know – my classmate back in elementary, Dialyn, who didn’t pay attention when she saw me; some of my classmates during college (though I can’t tell if they were the ones I’m closest to) and…the OT freshmen? Haha! I didn’t even know why I saw them. I also saw the guys from ‘the’ fraternity that…oh well.=)
But the guy in my dream, I never even saw his face or…did I? I dunno. As far as I can remember, he stands a couple of inches taller than me and I guess, wears black..? and all the while we were just holding hands…and I sort of feel comfortable being with him. It’s not that I have special feeling or affection with this guy…I even wonder why I hold hands with someone I don’t even know! Well, that’s just in my dream. =)
Waking up into reality, I guess I just needed somebody…like the guy in my dream – someone who would tightly hold my hands, who would run the course with me…someone who wouldn’t abandon me no matter how many times I trip and fall and even if I am so slow…he would always look back to my direction and in the long run, he would still wait for me…our hands intertwined. I guess I need exactly someone like the guy in my dream…someone I’m comfortable with, someone who would always make me happy and make me forget everything else… somebody who would especially run the mile with me when troubles arise.
I wanted to know the man in my dream. I want to meet him…to be with him.
Perhaps I was just being too ‘idealistic’…when in fact, in the real world, that kind of “knight-in-shining-armor” persona no longer exists.

*waaahhHHH,, why am I like this????? Now that I have finally agreed to myself that I would remain happy and single until the time is right for me to meet the right one!!! Oh heck…-_-;*

08:26 Posted in Blog | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: Life

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Blah Blah Blah

Soft Breeze
by moonlight butterfly

[You know what... sometimes I wish I could just write and write and write… until my brain drained off of all the ideas…and my heart finally becomes numb. I don’t wanna feel no more. I’m tired already… my head is always aching… I can’t seem to focus on one thing… I am so lost…]

I wonder how it all began
We were strangers back then, and still
I never thought I would feel like this
Such a feeling I never thought I’m still capable of
After the many years of crying
When some lunatic broke my heart
And just a simple hello from you, stranger
You brought the broken pieces back
And it seemed like; you’re not a stranger to me after all
I tell you things I never thought I would tell anyone
My heart beams with joy every time you are around
Just by knowing you, I came back to life
From the tempest I never thought I would have surpassed
Every moment I spend with you is a lifetime of bliss
The flowers are all in bloom
I never saw the sky so clear
Or the stars so bright
Since you walked into my life
I am all the more surprised that the little day-to-day talk we share
Brought about a tremendous change in me
That I would ever get to know how to smile again…
I never felt my heart beats so fast every time you call my name
Or my soul quivers each time you show perfect care
And after a long time, finally, and again
I can’t believe myself but I think I have fallen for you
I think I’m in love with you
I love you…
But stranger, now, where are you?
Now that I need you
Now that I long to share the laughter with you
The happy moments of my life only with you…
And right when one is the loneliness number
During my saddest moments that I long for your warm embrace to comfort me
Have you gone out of my life completely?
Did you leave me too just as what he did to me before?
And so, shall I ask God the same question again…
Why do I always fall for the wrong person?
Why do I love someone…who is not meant for me after all…?
Just as when I longed for someone to stay…
You left me like the soft breeze one evening
It was only yesterday that we exchanged hellos and now
…not even a goodbye.



[Now that I’ve sighed all up…. I feel much relieved…=)…]

03:10 Posted in Literature | Permalink | Comments (4) | Tags: Life

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Da Vinci Code - a certified hit!


I was really grateful when my friend, Deanne, finally lent me her book - The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. It costs almost $ 8 – more or less 400 in pesos. Since she’s the only one in our class who has that book, and I believe it is sold out already, most of our classmates literally “fall in line” to borrow it from her to be able to read the book. And they would end up talking about how fascinating the book really is.

The book tells about a murder of the four senelauch of a secret organization, Priory of Sion, who were the keepers of the greatest secret in the world there is – the location of the most coveted “Holy Grail”, and Sophie’s quest to unveil the secrets about her family that had long been kept. With Robert Langdon being mistaken guilty of Jacques Sauniere’s murder, Sophie’s grandfather and held under observation by agent Fache , Sophie found herself fleeing inevitably with Robert – brought together by Sophie’s grandfather’s last encoded message: PS: Find Robert Langdon
With Robert Langdon’s knowledge of symbology and Sophie’s expertise with cryptography and code-breaking, together they began the quest to uncover “The Da Vinci Code”.

Well, I’d be spoiling the entire thrill if I’d tell the whole story right away. And those who have read the book already, I believe, know just how great the book truly is. It’s an exceptional work of art. A first of Dan Brown’s books – a series of Robert Langdon mystery. His other books include: Angels and Demons, Deception Point and Digital Fortress , all comparatively well-researched. I think Columbia Pictures are now currently working on the “big screen” version of the book that will be starred by the acclaimed Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks.

Though it is a novel, and I believe, falls under the category of fiction , I find most of the topics discussed on it are of pure facts (and pointed out by the author himself). I guess only the characters are fictitious but the rest – the setting, the issues discussed et cetera are true. Indeed they are.

Hmmm… instead of babbling all about it… I’ll just let you hear about it straight from the author himself on his personal website >>> DAN BROWN
The site also provides a picture of the author and actual images of the setting of the story, at the “Da Vinci Code Gallery”. I hope you wouldn’t try to take a peek if you haven’t read the book yet. Gah, you’d miss all the fun! Imagination is a big thing. ^_^

Also, if you really are one hell of The Da Vinci Code fanatic, you would want to try their WEB QUEST and test your skills in puzzle-solving and code-breaking! However, there is an older version of that quest – THE ORIGINAL DA VINCI CODE QUEST that offers as much fun!
The quest is pretty head-rocking ya’ know… so I’m giving out a helping hand… well, not quite.

But wait!!!! (don’t check the succeeding site unless you really feel hopeless already because I ASSURE YOU the quest is not that darn easy! Somehow I was stuck in the middle, unable to unbreak the code for the last gate… he he) Well, somebody has so excellently broke the code for the two quests!!! ALL HAIL!! and offered the LIST OF ANSWERS to the quests.

But then, try to answer it first! Test your wits! It’s fun, trust me, and really intriguing and mind-boggling or should I say,,, mind-squeezing?? Haha! Good luck ya’ll folks!

So now I will leave you guys with this quote that I’ve read from my Speech Communication book which most aptly adapts the whole point of the book regarding the bible controversies and the anomalies of the Roman Catholic Church as pinpointed in the story…

“What you do speaks so loud, I can’t hear what you say”

‘Till then! Dan Brown rules! Two thumbs up!! Astig! m/

14:00 Posted in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: Life

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Art of Letting Go…

The leaves of the trees start to shed off...
Of which will soon gather beneath the ground
The next day, it will be but skeletons in the midst of forenoon
And tomorrow still…
New leaves will sprout
Of pure green, healthy and sound. -moonlight butterfly



Letting go may sound complicated…

Yesterday, as had been my habitual custom, I’ve been in one of my favorite chat rooms in Yahoo! >>> Depressed Room, where I have already met a bunch of nice and decent online chatters whom were now my so-called “cyber friends”. A number of ‘depressed’ chatters visit our room where I am one of the “love counselors” and our last topic had been about forgetting…and the art of letting go.

Like the oldest cliché “time heals the wounds” goes…truly, it is only through time that the pain from a broken heart eventually subsides.

Just like the tree shedding off its leaves…so is forgetting someone who had once been a very special part of our lives…

Well, the difference is…

Trees have to let go of its old leaves to make way for the new ones so the trees could continue to live - they need new and healthy leaves that would manufacture its food.

The same is true with people…how can we get on with our lives if we continue to dwell on the past? Yeah, I know it’s always easier said than done but come to think of it… why can’t you let go?? What has been holding you back from moving on…?

Well, that’s the major problem among people. They’d say, “I want to forget. I want to move on…” when in reality they’re just eating everything they say! They want to move on, to get rid off the aches …but deep inside them they know that they are not willing yet to let go. They want to embrace the memories. Somehow, they hope and they long that something might still happen that could perhaps fix the problem…and that they’ll wake up someday and find everything back to normal - how it was back then.

But in many cases, it just no longer works. It’s dead end already and that you have no other choice but to forget and let go.

Love is just like a song. Now, it’s fresh, innovative…a sure fire hit! And tomorrow…it’s no longer that popular and ground-breaking as it has been. But if it’s true and sincere…it could as well be one of the reggaes that are revived and played in the radio over and over again.

As a matter of fact, forgetting is not really possible, most especially when that someone had created a mark on you, a mark that you will carry on for a lifetime. Because the truth is…you may forget the pain but never the person who caused it. For that someone had left us “distinctive” memories in a sense that…it is only with that someone that we share such precious moments, such memories that are indeed uniquely different and apart from the rest. Or you may not even forget everything but through time…eventually, it doesn’t hurt that bad anymore.

It is not the separation of you two that really hurts…it is the sudden stop of the love that you once used to share that is really devastating. Just like the breaking of your everyday routine or your habit...all of a sudden you feel clueless.

Think of it this way…

When someone left you with a scar in your heart…cry. But only for a while. Then smile after…why?
Because at least you found out too soon that he/she was not really the one for you…and that there’s someone better out there waiting for you. It may be your fault for not giving it your best shot…or it may not just worth it.

Why do the withered leaves fall down to the ground?

Sure, because of gravity you fool!

Enghkkkk!!! There is another answer to that.

Answer: Because the Lord now let them serve a different purpose for the tree – as fertilizers that will help nourish the tree. So, the old leaves didn’t leave the tree after all rather, it is one of the reasons why the tree continues to live on healthily.

So, our losses in the love arena are not s*** that only make our lives miserable. Hence, it provides us the lessons we need to learn and the foundation to support us in becoming the strong and sturdy tree that we are. So the next time we get hold of our boxing gloves, we’ll win the match! He he... We know then what and what not to do for our next relationship to be more meaningful and fruitful.

But still, we have to always bear in our minds that…to love is a challenge every one of us faces. There is no assurance of not getting hurt or a happily-ever-after ending…but learning to face the fact that the cycle of the art of letting go continues until you find that someone who is willing to stay.=)



**Sorry for quite another profound article… Argh! Boredom sure does kill me! Ha-ha! =)

09:31 Posted in Emotions | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: Life

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