Saturday, January 31, 2009

CN326 - written and online project

Read the story "Si Anabella" by Magdalena Jalandoni
page 285 (Borrow my brown book)


1. Make a critical analysis of the story (in English) by looking at the following aspects:

a. characters
b. plot / structure

b.1. exposition
b.2. conflict
b.3. climax
b.4. falling action
b.5. denouement

c. theme of the story

d. symbolism/s employed

2. must be 3 - 5 pages, short bond paper, 1 & 1/2 spacing, arial, 12 font size, standard margin

3. due date: Friday, Feb. 6/09, 5pm submit personally or by group at room 636..late papers will not be honored

4. online project - leave a comment on this page, click and post comment below by answering these questions.
a. if you are to change the title of the story, what would it be and why?
b. if you were Anabella, what will you do?
c. what song fits best in this story? attach the song lyrics.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

EE22 Students Phil. Lit. College of Education


Part A (70 points)
1.Read this short story written by Dr. Anthony Tan
2.Using the formalistic approach in Literary criticism, make a Critical analysis on the Short Story by looking into the following aspects:

c.plot / structure
rising action
falling action
3. Encoded / computerized, short bond paper, 1 & 1/2 spacing, standard margin, arial, 12 f.s., minimum pages - 3-5 pages (or more)

4. Due date: February 5, 2009, to be collected during class exam schedule.
5. for further inquiries please visit my office on my consultation hour.

Part B - Online Project (30 points)

1. If you are going to make a new title of the story, what would it be and why?
2. answer briefly. Indicate your Title by placing it inside the quotation marks. Example Title: "Looking at a New Horizon" then add a 1 - 2 paragraph justification of your title as based from the story read.
3. Online Project due on February 8, 2009.
4. Entries beyond due date will not be honored.

The Cargo

A deep-blue stillness was upon the sea as if this were the earth’s last morning and the boat, with its cargo of dead bodies, were on a last voyage toward infinity.
He was in a daze, his mind unable to come to grips with bare facts. He was wrestling with the intrusions of fear and despair, alternating like the crest and trough of the waves on the boundless sea, bearing down on him, heavy as the sheer mass of the sea itself. He wanted to talk about these emotions, about anything at all, but there was no one alive in the world. If there had been seagulls, at least he could have shouted at them, or better still, cursed them. But no seagulls flew this far. If the earth had been flat, this part of the sea would have been its very edge before the boat would plunge into the abyss. Yet, he was aware, the sun was rising steadily, indifferently.

Asmawil stared again. On the bow, under a green tarpaulin, the huddled bodies were still warm. They were seated as though they were merely suffering from sickness. Their heads were bowed or turned. He did not know why he had them seated. He knew them all by name, by their first names. The one wearing a skullcap was his wife’s nephew, bodyguard to the ship’s owner. For no conscious reason, he had seated these two next to each other.

The motor launch had been drifting for three hours now. He had stopped the engine when he decided to drag the bodies to the bow. But even after he had put the tarpaulin over the bodies and securely tied its ends to the posts supporting the roof, he did not start the engine. He was in no hurry to reach Siasi, the port of departure, or any island for that matter. He was secure on his boat and, more than at any time in his life, he feared the living more than the dead. He knew what folks believed about a dead body on a boat—that it was accompanied by forty-four evil spirits, and that was why any boat carrying a dead body was a slow boat. But he feared neither the dead nor their spirits. For one thing, they did not ask any questions; or if they did, the questions were never on their lips, only in their eyes, in their faraway stare. They seemed to be looking for something farther than their eyes could see. They seemed to ask, but since their questions were never uttered, he did not have to answer them. Besides, he was certain there were no spirits.

He went to the kitchen at the stern and brewed himself some coffee. He had not realized, until now, how hungry he was. When he sat down to drink his second cup, with a cigarette between his fingers, he imagined what would happen when he got back to Siasi. The whole town would turn out and flock to the wharf to see his cargo. The people would be out on the streets as they would be on a morning when a hadji came home from a pilgrimage to Mecca. Except that there would be no school band, no streamers of welcome, no firecrackers, no rich and flowing robes, no turban, no tell-tale bruise on the forehead, which was the true mark of a pilgrim who had kissed the black stone at Kaaba. Because his was a different pilgrimage. Just a night at sea and a boat of ten men, nine of them now dead. As for the bruise, it was nowhere on the body.

And the people would ask all kinds of questions and interrupt themselves with accusations and curses. Did he kill them all? All of them? What a devil! Including his nephew? It’s only his wife’s nephew. The same. How can anyone do such a thing? He has a tail. Money, all that money. A hundred and fifty thousand, maybe more. More. Abdul was a rich man. No, it was not his; it was the middlemen’s. Robber, just the same. They will get his neck. Think of the relatives of the dead. Sure, the sons of Abdul. Why do you think he did it? He has a tail. No, greed. Insanity. They will kill even the cats in his house. Curse upon his children!

Upon my children? He shuddered to think of the curse upon his children. The curse upon his head he was ready to accept. He had seen enough of life and would willingly part with it. He could accept the end of his life the way he accepted that sharp, sudden pain at the back of his head each morning when he woke up. But not the curse of blood upon his children. Never his children. Never his wife. It was not right that they suffer for his sins, whatever those sins were. Besides, he did not do it. His children must not suffer. Neither must he.

For the first time since he was confronted with his cargo, his mind cleared up, and he recalled the incident only several hours before. It seemed ages ago, but when he looked again at the tarpaulin, he recalled that only yesterday afternoon he had seen the longshoremen roll two black, dented barrels of gasoline on a slender gangplank. He had feared the plank would break under the pressure. As a boat pilot for many years, he had seen enough of loading and unloading to know that the plank would only bend. He knew that as well as the longshoremen did. Yet he had some vague fear that the plank would break. Perhaps he had been wishing it would, so the trip would have to be delayed. If one of the barrels dropped into the sea, as he had wished, it would have given him a few more hours at home. He could have let the crew worry about it. He would have gone home to be with his wife.

When the last barrel had been rolled safely and staked in place on the side of the deck, one of the longshoremen, fiddling at his goose throat and showing his toothless gum, gave Asmawil a wide grin as if to mock him for his fear and selfish wish. Instead of being relieved, Asmawil was mildly angry and uncomfortable that his wish had not come true. Courteously, he smiled back at the longshoreman, who was still grinning and looking intently at him. Suddenly, something more than anger and frustration seized him. He went inside the poop to blow the horn. Two long, hoarse and impatient whistles startled the languid sundown, but the afterimage of that grinning face remained. A breath of vague sensation breezed through him.

The owner of the boat came out of the restaurant with his bodyguard and other members of the crew. A successful trader for some years, Abdul Tungki was a short, corpulent man whose waddling movements were made more pronounced by his bulging back pockets. Whether they were full of money or just business papers, nobody was certain. People who saw him waddle down the street on a busy day assumed that it must be money. As a trader, he made a fortune buying barter goods from Sandakan for the middlemen in Siasi. Even in the days before the national government sanitized the word “contraband” into “barter,” Abdul Tungki had always overstuffed his pockets the way most successful businessmen did. It was a status symbol, like carrying a chromium-plated .45, that the new rich should not be denied. They were to be envied, and only the poor bystanders of finer sensibilities were repulsed. On a trip like this, Abdul’s bodyguard, slinging an armalite, carried his black attaché case.
Asmawil had come out of the poop and lighted a cigarette. He inhaled the first smoke deeply and blew slowly out into the clear air. He was relieved to know that the weather was fine. It was not dark yet. High in the west the moon was an imperfect crescent. A feeble star hung above one of its horns. A week before, when he and his wife were relaxing on the porch of his house in South Laud, he had noticed that the star was directly above the valley of the crescent, and the moon looked like the crook of a mother’s arm cradling an infant. Looking at the moon and the star close together never failed to amuse him because of what folks believed, that the conjunction of these two heavenly bodies meant two young lovers were going to elope. Yet when he himself ran off with his wife, there was no such heavenly sign. He doubted the accuracy of the folk belief, but he was certain that, moon or no moon, young lovers ran off because it was the cheapest way to get married. Their hot blood did not wait for heaven’s sanction, nor for any distant signs, only for the encouraging glint in their lover’s eyes. The young had common sense. For them, the way through the knot of conventions was not to untie it but to cut it. Also, their acceptance of the risks when they ran off were somewhat romantic. And Asmawil knew those risks.

He tried to rouse himself from his reverie, but it gave him such immense comfort that he could not shake it from his mind. He lighted another stick of cigarette, and as the smoke made indefinite circles in the air, his mind sank back to that afternoon when Abdul Tungki entered the poop and told him to start going. In turn, Asmawil ordered the crew to release the cables from the bitts at the wharf and in a few minutes the boat, all agog with the raucity of the engine and the bell from the poop, set sail for Sandakan—one day and two nights away. The wooden hull of M/L Morning Glory was very light for its size, having been designed for fast sailing by the skilled boat makers of Sibutu Island. Fitted with two 90-horsepower Yanmar engines, it would use only one engine on a safe regular trip. The second was a standby engine in case the boat ran into naval boats patrolling the boundary between the Philippines and Borneo. Once in a while the second engine was used just to keep it in shape. In the days of smuggling blue-seal cigarettes, when naval patrols were more frequent, the slower boats always ran out of luck. They were caught and towed behind a naval boat to Bongao, the nearest port of call from the boundary, where the crew members were imprisoned and the boats impounded; or the merchandise and crew were lost to rapacious pirates, who made guns their primary capital in the lucrative business. The fastest boat was the luckiest, and Asmawil was proud that the Morning Glory—a name he had chosen himself because, invariably, it would have sight of its destination in a blaze of glorious sunrise—had never suffered humiliation or loss. Allah be praised for such a boat, he would pray in his unconventional way. He would never be a pilot of a slower boat. He would not take too many risks.

In the past he had known fear—the very shape of it, the way it struck him like cold air that, suddenly from nowhere, pierced his skin and stiffened his nipples and entered the hollow of his stomach—and he would experience the loosening of bowels. Often it came in the shape of a heaving sea. What lurked beneath the sudden swell, the mysterious and the unpredictable, what the eyes could not see and the mind could not anticipate, was what he feared more than the broadsides of the patrol boats or the firepower of the pirates. He knew one could always return the compliments with his own firepower although that was a last resort. The easiest way was to steer away from the course of enemies or outrun them on the high seas. But he could not forearm himself against that which he could not anticipate; responding to the unpredictable, when it happened, took a superior intelligence and vast composure. Yet fear of the unknown, rational as it was, was not to be revealed to another man, even to his co-pilot, who confidently steered the boat windward.

Last night he had no such fear. The weather was good. The cold wind was gentle and caressing. Within the range of his vision were the lights from the fishermen’s boats and crystals of foam on the otherwise still surface, and the only sounds were the engine throbbing, almost like the heartbeat of the night itself, and the gentle, incessant vibrations on the railing against which his body was pressed. Not fear, but awe—an awe so sacred that only an act of total surrender could capture its sanctity; to speak of it would only spoil its immediacy and ineffableness. Last night awe had filled his being as he wondered how in their silence the sea and the sky were one. No horizon separated them. Black merged into black. He had the uncanny feeling that if this boat were to sail on indefinitely, it would, on a night like this, be lifted one degree higher to touch the sky’s rim. So quiet were the empty spaces, he felt like a solitary earthling on an odyssey between the galaxies. The illusion of the nearness of the constellations to one another made him feel that no distance was far enough for his boat.

He looked toward the stern, and he saw the smokestack emit a steady stream of blackish smoke. There was something about machines, he thought, that made them a reassuring companion. They were so predictable, even the most sophisticated—until they conked out or were abused. Then they became dangerous, as if in their weakness or misuse they asserted their superiority and independence.

He was so absorbed in his thoughts that he did not notice the wind had changed course. He had been drifting for hours, but still no island fringed the horizon. By his reckoning it was nearly noon. The distant water had begun to shimmer in the heat, and under a light breath of wind the sea was like a million fish scales. He went to the kitchen and cooked something for lunch, then went down into the engine room. He noticed the bilge had risen to a dangerous level; it had, in fact, reached the wooden frame on which the engines were mounted. He started the motorized water pump. It began to make a sucking sound.

He went up and examined the bodies. The blood had dried and caked around the wounds and on the floor, and its bad smell assailed his nose. The heat, he thought. He went back into the engine room and, after hesitating a moment, carefully wound a light piece of rope around the ridge of the circular head of one engine. With one vigorous pull the engine thundered in his ears, and his whole body shook with the vibrations of the hull.

Taking the helm, he turned the bow 180 degrees and watched as the compass needle slowly moved east. He was moving opposite the sun’s path, against the wind, in the direction that would lead him back to Siasi. He knew that, and he knew that there was no other place for the dead but Siasi, where their families would bury them and avenge them; and he knew, too, on whose head their vengeance would fall. It should not be on his head, but it could well be because they would doubt his story, for vengeance would make them doubt the most naked truth. He was not turning back to Siasi for the sake of the truth. He knew its consequences not only for him, but also for his wife and children. Yet he was turning back to Siasi because it was the only place for the dead, and the dead needed burial. He was not concerned with decorous, purificatory rites: the bathing of the body, the shaving of the face, the white shroud, the mesmerizing prayers chanted through the night. The rites were for the living who needed distractions because they could not see death in its sheerest simplicity. As for the dead, even those who had made their living from the sea needed one thing only: a place in the bowels of the earth.

The tarpaulin was flapping incessantly on the bow, and the wind was blowing the smell into the poop. Leaving the helm, he went back into the engine room and started the other engine. He knew he had to get back to Siasi before evening, before the smell became unbearable. He thought again of the folks who believed that each dead person was accompanied by forty-four evil spirits. If so, he thought, there should be 396 of them on the boat, and they could gang up on him and hurl him against the engines or drown him in the bilge. It would have been better, he thought, if they did, and it would be the end, rather than this journey of infinite solitude. The thought of these spirits in the engine room made the hair on his nape stand on end. He reached back and slapped his neck three times. He climbed to the deck. He hurried to the poop. And then he realized that there was no one but him, the wind, the sound it made on the tarpaulin and the smell it carried, the engines with their vibrations, and the wavelets in the half-empty glass beside the binnacle.

He knew what he would do when he got back to Siasi. He would tell the story exactly as it happened, no more, no less, exactly as he remembered it. The bare facts would suffice, and they were easier to tell. In less than thirty minutes the authorities would know all they would want to know. But the truth was a different matter. It would not be necessary. It was powerless to bring back the dead, anyway.

He would not tell the authorities, unless they wanted some embellishments, how the sharp, metallic sound of the armalite had broken his sleep, how for a moment he had lain frozen, wondering if it was a nightmare, and then how it was followed by another burst of rapid sounds, like a hammer on a nail, and he had jumped out of his bunk and entered the poop and had seen a shadow dragging something, for it was dark. And all he had done was ask what it was, and the shadow answered, and he knew it was his nephew.

Plainly he would tell the authorities that it was his nephew who had killed the men. Why Tadji did it only Tadji knew, and he too was now dead. How could he, Asmawil, know what it would take to kill eight people? Only madness, and he called his nephew insane. Tadji said it was for a reason. Abdul had insulted him, called him lagak, glutton, and Asmawil said it must have been only a joke. Tadji insisted that Abdul had meant to insult him; otherwise, why did he do it in a restaurant, where there were many people? Where Sali, Akmad, Ummar, and the others were present, who also laughed when Abdul said Tadji was big because he ate too much and made a great deal of sound like a pig. But if Abdul got what he deserved, what about the others? Because they laughed, too, and they heard the insult; and if they lived, they would talk about his crime. That was how Tadji explained his madness, but it did not explain human madness at all—why there was such a thing in the world. The authorities may accept the explanation as plausible. So Asmawil thought he would simply repeat what Tadji had said. He would add only what he had seen at dawn, that Tadji was counting the money in the attaché case, and that it came close to 180,000 pesos. He would not tell the authorities, because it was beside the point, that he knew the wife of Tadji had an inordinate fondness for jewels and movies and clothes, and that Tadji was a devoted husband. He would not tell that Tadji, with a mysterious smile, had asked him if he wanted some of the money, and he said no, he did not want the money of other people, and the smile suddenly changed into a threatening glare. He would not quote Tadji, who said it was not the money of Abdul, but the money of the middlemen. He would not tell how he did not argue the point because it was dangerous to make a madman see that it was all the same, for it was not his money, and that in silence he called his nephew a pirate. He would ask the authorities to return the money to the middlemen whose names, and the barter merchandise they had ordered, Abdul had carefully written down in his notebook.
There was only one thing left for him to tell, and that needed an explanation. He would confess that he killed his nephew, his wife’s nephew. He hoped the authorities would be satisfied with an explanation of how he had done it, how he outwitted a big, young man with an armalite, and that they would not ask him, until later in court, to reenact the whole sequence of his crime because it was painful to go through the details once more. Later perhaps, he would be kinder to himself; he would absolve himself of any guilt because it was necessary to defend himself against a madman. Just for now, he hoped, he would only explain how he had done it, but even that was painful enough because it was shameful and sordid. It was not worthy of him to have done it, but it was necessary to kill a madman while he was off his guard, while he was squatting half-naked over the hole of the toilet, his back facing the door. Why Tadji trusted him after threatening to kill him, Asmawil thought, he could not explain. He had attributed it to the mysterious workings of fate because, quite simply, fate did not want him to die that day. It was Tadji’s life that had run its full course. But whether it was fate or chance was another matter. Tadji said he would kill him because he knew his uncle would talk, and he suspected that Asmawil wanted part of the money in spite of his denial. He was sparing his life for the time being because he needed his uncle to take him back to Siasi, that as soon as they were near the island his uncle would have to die, too. He told him that in Siasi he would tell the police that they had been robbed by pirates, and that his life was spared only because the pirates knew his wife.

Asmawil wanted to laugh at this ingenious lie, but it was a madman with an armalite who stood before him, and he was not tempted to wrestle with him for the gun. Tadji told him to keep his eye on the helm while he went to the kitchen to look for something to eat, and he warned Asmawil not to come near or he would shoot him. Asmawil heard no sound of utensils from the kitchen for a long while. He grew excited when the suspicion struck him that Tadji was in fact in the toilet. Knowing that Tadji had the armalite did not deter Asmawil from going to the kitchen for the knife. He had to take the chance to save himself. The long curve of the head of the knife must have caused Tadji enormous pain, he thought, for Tadji had swallowed the smoke of his cigarette and coughed when the knife struck the hollow around his collar bones, and a prolonged snore came from his mouth.

That was the story, not as he would like to tell it to the authorities, but as he remembered it. He would tell the other details, if they were necessary to convince them, but he would rather not. They would ask for the approximate time of the day when it happened, as if a man would slaughter another man at a specific time, like a goat or cow at the slaughterhouse. Goats and cows were killed more mercifully, he thought, with the sharpest blade, like a kris or a barung, with one’s own personal weapon, so that death was swift and there was less pain. On more than one occasion he had seen an imam, a religious man, slaughter a goat after a solemn prayer. Perhaps because its meat was to be eaten.

Would the authorities like to know about the weather, too? He would tell them of last night’s windless lull, of a world peacefully asleep. But even if the wind and the sea had raged, their fury would have been nothing compared to the madness of last night. Veteran sailors and competent weathermen could tell you when a storm would strike. They knew the places where the waves were always huge the whole year round, and they would tell you to avoid those places. Look for a harbor in the season of the habagat, the sailors would say. Sail in April and May when it is uttarah. The wind and the sea had their season of peace, as if they had a mind of their own and obeyed a meaningful pattern. No, he decided, the authorities would not ask him about the weather. It was not their duty to know about it. They were not sailors. It was also beside the point. The weather had nothing to do with the madness of man. And he knew the authorities were right.

The sun was down in the west when he got near Sirum, the island before Siganggang, which lay opposite Siasi. Two hours more, he said to himself, but, almost immediately, he remembered he was running on two engines. One hour, he corrected himself.

When he saw the mountain of Siasi rise slowly in the horizon, a sudden vision of his own death gripped him. Turn back, an inner voice told him, turn back. He felt powerless against the lure of the harbor. And he was tired, and the desire to lie down beside his wife in a comfortable bed overpowered his instinct to preserve his life. Besides, where would he go? Out there on the high seas, what would he have? He could not drift forever. Soon he would run out of oil, and he was sure the weather would change. He would have to find a harbor, a foothold on some land. If it meant facing the avengers of the murdered sailors, so be it. There was a slim chance that they would believe him. But even then, he would have to face the avengers of Tadji. He had not thought of Tadji’s brothers when he killed him in self-defense. He knew that self-defense did not exempt him from the stringent law of vengeance. Would it have been better if it were he, instead of Tadji, who was dead? For having outlived Tadji, for having bought a fraction of human time, he knew he had to pay with his own blood, and perhaps the blood of his own children, too. While his mind was debating whether he had acted wisely in bringing back the dead to Siasi, the boat had moved irrevocably within sight of the island.

In the twilight sky, the tallest landmarks of the island stood above the lights from the squat houses. From the distance, the telecommunications tower was a sharply tapering edifice, without lights since its antennas had been struck down by lightning many years before. The church belfry did not look so imposing now as when he was a boy. A very long time ago, he used to sit beneath a camachile tree at angelus, not to listen to the clang of the bell, which did not please him, but to watch the startled doves fly out of their niches when the bell rang and circle uncertainly for a moment about the belfry, like erratic silhouettes in the dusk. The needle-like minarets of the mosque did not seem to soar as high as they did at noon, when their chalky whiteness glinted in the sun. Darkness seemed to dwarf them. The faithful who built them had wanted them to soar beyond the highest pitch of the muezzin’s call to prayer, to soar to the bosom of heaven itself. The dome of the mosque was crowned, appropriately, by the ubiquitous symbol of Islam: a star above the crescent moon. Yet the sight of it did not summon religious fervor in his heart, nor images of the turbaned missionaries who had come to this shore centuries ago, nor the fiery swords of Bedouin sheiks crushing their icon-worshiping enemies. What images it summoned were supplied by the folk belief about fugitive lovers pursued by the armed relatives of the girls. He saw two runaway youths who would consummate their desire and repeat the eternal drama of love and birth. Further into his vision, images of the children of those lovers rose before him like the procession of the future itself, not ghostly faces, but clear, bright, and brown faces, like those of his own children, wearing in their smiles the innocence of those who would not inherit the blight of their human parents, as if they were to be the new creatures, running and playing on the primal shore, basking in the maternal warmth of the earth’s first morning.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Essay to read and read for an essay

This is an article I happened to read while browsing and surfing across the net. I was really looking for articles that are very Filipino. Something that every young people like you and the young generation per se could appreciate and love. Reading is such a boring activity some people would say. But i blatantly say "No". In contrast, it is quite one of the best forms of recreation. It unleashes the lurking self in you. The sulking person inside you. But one can only better appreciate what he is reading once he reads from the heart. This article isn't only for the love of reading or for the sake of compliance to the reading requirement being asked from you, but this is more of a reawakening for the future leaders, the youth, into becoming a better individual, responsible citizen and above all, one who is ready to acquire change in his life for the betterment of his country, may it be gradual or drastic. For now, just read, have fun and understand the message... Read between the lines...Read beyond the lines...Most importantly, read from your heart!
-Prof. D-

Freedom from Want
By Carlos Bulosan

Published in the Saturday Evening Post Magazine, March 6, 1943
as one of the commissioned essays on the Four Freedoms in America

1. So long as the fruit of our labor is denied us, so long will want manifest itself in a world of slaves.
If you want to know what we are, look upon the farms or upon the hard pavements of the city. You usually see us working or waiting for work, and you think you know us, but our outward guise is more deceptive than our history.
Our history has many strands of fear and hope that snarl and converge at several points in time and space. We clear the forest and the mountains of the land. We cross the river and the wind. We harness wild beast and living steel. We celebrate labor, wisdom, peace of the soul.

2. When our crops are burned or plowed under, we are angry and confused. Sometimes we ask if this is the real America. Sometimes we watch our long shadows and doubt the future. But we have learned to emulate our ideals from these trials. We know there were men who came and stayed to build America. We know they came because there is something in America that they needed, and which needed them.
We march on, though sometimes strange moods fill our children. Our march toward security and peace is the march of freedom—the freedom that we should like to become a living part of. It is the dignity of the individual to live in a society of free men, where the spirit of understanding and belief exists; of understanding that all men, whatever their color, race, religion or estate, should be given equal opportunity to serve themselves and each other according to their needs and abilities.

3. But we are not really free unless we use what we produce. So long as the fruit of our labor is denied us, so long will want manifest itself in a world of slaves.
It is only when we have plenty to eat—plenty of everything— that we begin to understand what freedom means. To us, freedom is not an intangible thing. When we have enough to eat, then we are healthy enough to enjoy what we eat. Then we have the time and ability to read and think and discuss things. Then we are not merely living but also becoming a creative part of life. It is only then that we become a growing part of democracy.

4. We do not take democracy for granted. We feel it grow in our working together—many millions of us working toward a common purpose. If it took us several decades of sacrifice to arrive at this faith, it is because it took us that long to know what part of America is ours.
Our faith has been shaken many times, and now it is put to question. Our faith is a living thing, and it can be crippled or chained. It can be killed by denying us enough food or clothing, by blasting away our personalities and keeping us in constant fear. Unless we are properly prepared the powers of darkness will have good reason to catch us unaware and trample our lives.

5. The totalitarian nations hate democracy. They hate us, because we ask for a definite guaranty of freedom of religion, freedom of expresson and freedom from fear and want. Our challenge to tyranny is the depth of our faith in a democracy worth defending, although they spread lies about us, the way of life we cherish is not dead. The American dream is only hidden away, and it will push its way up and grow again.
We have moved down the years steadily toward the practice of democracy. We become animate in the growth of Kansas wheat or in the ring of Mississippi rain. We tremble in the strong winds of the Great Lakes. We cut timbers in Oregon just as the wild flowers blossom in Maine. We are multitudes in Pennsylvania mines, in Alaskan canneries. We are millions from Puget Sound to Florida. In violent factories, crowded tenements, teeming cities. Our numbers increase as the war revolves into years and increases hunger, disease, death and fear.

6. Even when we see our children suffer humiliations, we cannot believe that America has no more place for us. We realize that what is wrong is not in our system of government, but in the ideals which were blasted away by a materialistic age.
But sometimes we wonder if we are really a part of America. We recognize the main springs of American democracy in our right to form unions and bargain through them collectively, our opportunity to sell our products at reasonable prices, and the privilege of our children to attend schools where they learn the truth about the world in which they live. We also recognize the forces which have been trying to falsify American history—the forces which drive away many Americans to a corner of compromise with those who would distort the ideals of men that died for freedom.

7. Sometimes we walk across the land looking for something to hold on to. We cannot believe that the resources of this country are exhausted. Even when we see our children suffer humiliations, we cannot believe that America has no more place for us. We realize that what is wrong is not in our system of government, but in the ideals which were blasted away by a materialistic age. We know that we can truly find and identify ourselves with a living tradition if we walk proudly in familiar streets. It is a great honor to walk on the American earth.
If you want to know what we are, look at the men reading books, searching in the dark pages of history for the lost word, the key to the mystery of the living peace. We are factory hands, field hands, mill hands, searching, building and molding structures. We are doctors, scientists, chemists discovering and eliminating disease, hunger and antagonism. We are soldiers, Navy men, citizens, guarding the imperishable dreams of our fathers to live in freedom. We are the living dream of dead men. We are the living spirit of free men.

8. Everywhere we are on the march, passing through darkness into a sphere of economic peace. When we have the freedom to think and discuss things without fear, when peace and security are assured, when the futures of our children are ensured—then we have resurrected and cultivated the early beginnings of democracy. And America lives and becomes a growing part of our aspirations again.
We have been marching for the last one hundred and fifty years. We sacrifice our individual liberties, and sometimes we fail and suffer. Sometimes we divide into separate groups and our methods conflict, though we all aim at one common goal. The significant thing is that we march on without turning back. What we want is peace not violence, We know that we thrive and prosper only in peace.

9. We are bleeding where clubs are smashing heads, where bayonets are gleaming. We are fighting where the bullet is crashing upon armorless citizens, where the tear gas is choking unprotected children. Under the lynch trees, amidst hysterical mobs. Where the prisoner is beaten to confess a crime he did not commit. Where the honest man is hanged because he told the truth.
We are the sufferers who suffer for natural love of man for another man, who commemorate the humanities of every man. We are the creators of abundance.

10. We are the desires of anonymous men. We are the subways of suffering, the well of indignities. We are the living testament of a flowering race.
But our march to freedom is not complete unless want is annihilated. The America we hope to see is not merely a physical but also a spiritual and intellectual world. We are the mirror of what America is. If America wants us to be living and free, then we must be living and free. If we fail, then America fails.
What do we want? We want complete security and peace. We want to share the promise and fruits of American life. We want to be free from fear and hunger.

11. If you want to know what we are—We are Marching!

If you want to know what we are

I just love this poem the first time i have read this. It talks about me. It talks about you. It talks about US. Read this and give your comments afterward. I am keeping my fingers crossed that as you read this poem, you will also be able to internalize the author's (our very own Carlos Bulosan) sentiments, his call, his effort to awaken us all as well as know the very reason behind his writing this literary piece. If we want others to know who we really are, we should know ourselves better first. Ask yourself this rhetorical question. (if you want to know) What Are You?

If You Want to Know What We Are
by Carlos Bulosan

1. If you want to know what we are who inhabit
forest mountain rivershore, who harness
beast, living steel, martial music (that classless
language of the heart), who celebrate labour,
wisdom of the mind, peace of the blood;

2. If you want to know what we are who become
animate at the rain’s metallic ring, the stone’s
accumulated strength, who tremble in the wind’s
blossoming (that enervates earth’s potentialities),
who stir just as flowers unfold to the sun;

3. If you want to know what we are who grow
powerful and deathless in countless counterparts,
each part pregnant with hope, each hope supreme,
each supremacy classless, each classlessness
nourished by unlimited splendor of comradeship;

4. We are multitudes the world over, millions everywhere;
in violent factories, sordid tenements, crowded cities;
in skies and seas and rivers, in lands everywhere;
our number increase as the wide world revolves
and increases arrogance, hunger disease and death.

5. We are the men and women reading books, searching
in the pages of history for the lost word, the key
to the mystery of living peace, imperishable joy;
we are factory hands field hands mill hand everywhere,
molding creating building structures, forging ahead,

6. Reaching for the future, nourished in the heart;
we are doctors scientists chemists discovering,
eliminating disease and hunger and antagonisms;
we are soldiers navy-men citizens guarding
the imperishable will of man to live in grandeur,

7. We are the living dream of dead men everywhere,
the unquenchable truth that class-memories create
to stagger the infamous world with prophecies
of unlimited happiness_a deathless humanity;
we are the living and the dead men everywhere….

8. If you want to know what we are, observe
the bloody club smashing heads, the bayonet
penetrating hallowed breasts, giving no mercy; watch the
bullet crashing upon armorless citizens;
look at the tear-gas choking the weakened lung.

9. If you want to know what we are, see the lynch
trees blossoming, the hysterical mob rioting;
remember the prisoner beaten by detectives to confess
a crime he did not commit because he was honest,
and who stood alone before a rabid jury of ten men,

10 .And who was sentenced to hang by a judge
whose bourgeois arrogance betrayed the office
he claimed his own; name the marked man,
the violator of secrets; observe the banker,
the gangster, the mobsters who kill and go free;

11.We are the sufferers who suffer for natural love
of man for man, who commemorate the humanities
of every man; we are the toilers who toil
to make the starved earth a place of abundance
who transform abundance into deathless fragrance.

12.We are the desires of anonymous men everywhere,
who impregnate the wide earth’s lustrous wealth
with a gleaming fluorescence; we are the new thoughts
and the new foundations, the new verdure of the mind;
we are the new hope new joy life everywhere.

13.We are the vision and the star, the quietus of pain;
we are the terminals of inquisition, the hiatuses
of a new crusade; we are the subterranean subways
of suffering; we are the will of dignities;
we are the living testament of a flowering race.

14. If you want to know what we are

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Solid Foundation

"Life with Christ is an endless hope; without Him a hopeless end." – Unknown

The Holy Scriptures talk about our life being likened to a house which in some instances, some homes are built with strong foundation thus were meant to last while some crumble easily when strong winds blow or are drifted away when flash floods come unexpectedly. Accordingly, the ultimate "difference is not in the severity of the storm but in the quality of the foundation upon which the structure is built." (Kenneth Osbeck)

Once we build our house with quality foundation, we are rest assured that no matter =how strong the tempest may be, or how wild the wind blows, it will stand still because of its strong foundation. and so with our life, once we lay our life in Jesus Christ alone, our strongest foundation, no storm so strong, wind so wild, flood so high and deep could ever shake us because we have HIM in our hearts and we are safe in HIS HANDS. Trust no one but God alone!

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Bestfriend's Wedding

my bestfriend's wedding...a marriage made in heaven...a dream come true!

When I was told to give light on how James and Rethse met, became friends, how such friendship bloomed into a productive relationship and finally ended in marriage, i pondered and asked myself, do I really know enough about their relationship? I know that what i can share is only based on what I think I know, see and observe in their flourishing love. But if there are legitimate people who have the authority to speak of their love; it will only be the two of them.

This wedding was just actually Rethse’s dream a few years back. She dreamt to have a simple wedding with special friends, closest family and relatives around and most especially, marry the man of her dreams.

It was October of 2007 when Rethse came home from Manila where she was working. We spent time together talking and as an older sister was giving her plethora of advice about the emotional baggage she was carrying that time. She was nursing a broken heart.. James was a good friend of my biological sister. I did not know James that time but I have heard from her that James was also fixing a broken heart. In short, both were healing and recovering from past unsuccessful relationship.. My sister suggested we introduce to each other. I told Rethse about this and jokingly, Rethse took the challenge and said, why not? So the blind date was set…they finally met. That was the start of their friendship but we have seen a different twinkle from both their eyes and special kind of feeling was floating in the air. We had bonding night with other friends and invited James to come over. He was somewhat shy but you could see his determination to win Rethse’s heart. Yet we also felt the suppression. Both were suppressing and keeping what they were feeling for each other.. I told James it was too early to think about courting Rethse so all he was supposed to do was enjoy the friendship. I told him, whatever his intentions are for Rethse; hope it will never hurt her. He can’t afford to hurt one very good, beautiful, sexy, intelligent, sweet and loving woman.

When Rethse returned to Manila for her work, their call and text communication went on and became more frequent than the time she was here. Two months after, their friendship was being tried and tested. I know Rethse was hurt. My sister and I overreacted to the issue and were angry at James for hurting her unintentionally. We blamed James in fact I was so angry when I texted him. I felt like an over protective mother to Rethse. But it was Rethse who stood by James’s and things were settled eventually.

On March 2008, Rethse came home and decided to stay here for good. 6 months after enjoying the friendship with James, they became steady. And on year after their first meeting, James proposed marriage to Rethse. So there, they were engaged. I was the first among her friends to know about this and was very happy for them to have finally sealed their love in marriage. Indeed, it is very important for any relationship to be grounded in friendship. As it is the springboard to any other beautiful relationship.

My husband and i are very glad to be part of their wedding. as cord sponsors, may the symbol of unity and strength be real in their life and I believe IT WILL BE as they make God their HEAD and PRIORITY in their relationship.

For the new couple, Mr. & Mrs. James Banaag, keep the important ingredients to a successful family life: help and understand and trust each other, nourish your love each day, maintain your friendship And above all let God the center of your relationship because he is the source of all familial blessings.

Take good care of each other, learn from each other and grow in each other’s love. We love you, and we are very happy to have become part of your life together and expect that we will always be there for you. God bless you richly and more power! Our Best wishes to both of you !

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Beating deadlines, skeds and self!

Busy Schedules
I have been into a lot activities today...i think and think and think and think and think...(lol)... Kidding aside, i was pretty busy in the academe and what i have been doing seemed to cause my head to burst...Thank God for His sustaining grace.

My Apologies
I apologize for not writing for quite sometime, i just felt like sulking in my corner lately. anyways, i finally decided to be back to work (i mean here in metamorphosis) again and should there be need of reconstruction, renovation, repair or etc, i would probably do it gradually...

foremost, i want to congratulate my very special friends who are celebrating their 9th wedding anniversary...Advance happy 23rd birthday to katee, my loyal housemate; happy 70th birthday to my papa; happy 7th birthday to my only son RED; happy 1st birthday to my house pet kookoo and would like to formally welcome a new house member named "hearty"...

there are so many challenges that i am facing right now...I just make it sure that i have girded myself well with God's weapons to be able to face my battles courageously and won them victoriously...

Things to do this week:
1. LET Reviewer (Saturday, 8:00 - 12:00, January 24, 2009)
2. Best' Wedding - Cord Sp0nsor (Saturday, 2:00 pm, January 24, 2009)
3. Reading Assignment for MAELS
4. MAELS Class (MSU-IIT) (Sunday, 8:00 - 5:00, January 25, 2009)

I am on the process of making the family site. Just doing some finishing touches on the genealogy...hope to write more in my other blogsite...

We will be seeing our Professor again, one of my faves at MSU-IIT (Dr. Tan)


Friday, January 2, 2009

The New Year 2009

The New Year 2009 is something I perceive would be a great year for everyone. Each year that God adds to our life is an evidence of His great love for mankind. God Himself declares His promise in the Book of Jeremiah the plans He has for us. These are plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a good future (Jeremiah 29:11). He knows fully well the plans He stored for us.

With that assurance, we should keep ourselves from devising our own plan outside his will. All our plans and desires will prosper so long as we allow Him to take full control of our lives. Remember, our thoughts are not His thoughts nor our ways His ways (Isaiah 55:8). For us to be able to know God's thoughts and ways and His purpose in our lives, this year would be the best start to seek for that purpose by coming close to Him and dwell in His Word. We will understand the purpose of our existence once we allow God to deal with us. God does not underestimate our heart's desire. In fact, the Bible says that we have to delight ourselves in the Lord for He will grant the desires of our heart. In other words, once we please God with our lives we are guaranteed of receiving what we desire. But we shouldn't also forget that our heart's desire must also be in accordance to His will and purpose.

Living in God's will is hard. It entails sacrifices, selflessness and humility. It requires giving up your own selfish wants and desires and giving your heart to Him. Yes, it is hard but so fulfilling. It will give you peace, fulfillment and the feeling of unspeakable joy. There's no other way to God's will but through the condition of your heart. Let God reign!

(the photo above was taken on New Year's Eve of 2009 with my family. It is a 4-generation photo as you can see our apoy {grandma}, Papa, myself and my kids. from left to right: April {cousin}; joan {sister}; me; apoy casyang {grandma}; papa Freding; juntie {husband}; red {son}; katee {relative}; jenny rose {cousin}; floor right: jamill {nephew & godson} and left: Apple {daughter}. with Joan, our new adopted pet "hearty")