At a Crossroads

I’m at a crossroads; and I’m searching my heart for answers, for directions.  It seems totally at a loss of what to do, of what to choose.

I have learned that I need to pray hard and examine all my motives, my pains, my goals – those that really matter.  I have been at this for sometime now.  The road ahead is still dark and my vision still unclear.

I am asking the universe for answers.  I am exploring the different possibilities.  I am considering the impending consequences.  Still no answer…

All I know is that there is a gnawing in my gut telling me I am getting far from the path of my happiness.  I feel lost.   Fulfillment is out of reach.  There is this sadness I can’t seem to fathom.

I have seen success as the world offers it and it does not give me enough joy to fill even my simple uncomplicated heart.  There is this ever-widening void deep within me, haunting me even in my sleep.  It tells me I am not doing what I came to do.  I am not where I should be.  I need to stop.  Look hard at where I’m going.  Choose a road to take – a road to follow for the rest of my life.

In my confusion I remember these lines from ― Brian Andreas’  “Traveling Light: Stories & Drawings for a Quiet Mind”.

You may not remember the time you let me go first.
Or the time you dropped back to tell me it wasn’t that far to go.
Or the time you waited at the crossroads for me to catch up.
You may not remember any of those, but I do and this is what I have to say to you:

Today, no matter what it takes,
we ride home together.”

And then I thought of my children,  my dearest MJ and Mahalaleel.  I thought of my husband, always there, always patient with me.  Thoughts of a cozy loving home enveloped me, of quiet talks and laughter, of books and the smell of crisp lovely pages,  … Is this my cue?  Oh God,  help me decide.

My head bursts with ideas and insights, my heart longs to sing its unheard songs, my fettered fingers itches to hold a pen and scribble away its cares…

Images continually flash across my inner vision like scenes from a film without an ending…They haunt me even in my sleep and most nights I lay awake, tired, spent, heavy-eyed yet awake.  

The images are more vivid now.  I can’t ignore them anymore.  They crave to be carved in a printed page.  Gaunt  filthy faces with  eyes that burn with rage against vicious mocking fate emerge out of the shadows demanding my attention. Unheard voices call to me to write their pleas… their lamentations.  And their silent cry has finally pierced my …

And now I have to make a choice.  To write or not to write…


To Meet a King

Sunday, January 26, 2014 – 9:00 a.m.

This date and time has been so marked in the family’s calendar.   What with the scouts in the house set to meet a king; and with scouts in the house I mean my husband, Marlon, and our two kids, MJ and Mahal.  Simply put that means, I will be the only one left out during this momentous occasion.  And the king these excited trio will meet is King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Fast forward to the day and five hours before His Majesty’s plane lands in Tacloban City Airport…

The house was astir so early and everyone was in high spirits and though I felt left out, I was the most excited one of all – what with my kids meeting a king in person – a big story they can tell their children and grandchildren in the future.  They’ll serve as honorary guards in the reception line of H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.  And the scouts were all up to the task ahead, uniforms crisp and clean, fresh from the plastic wrapping that saved them from Yolanda’s wrath, faces freshly scrubbed, hair well-combed… they were a sight to see – three scouts in parade dress… minus the shoes!  Why?  Shoes had to be cleaned again and again and again.

I found myself tasked with the tall order of making moldy and storm-surge-hardened black shoes shine to the max, that is if it was possible to make them shine.  These have been washed twice and wiped clean as well but when we took them out of the shoe rack they were moldy again.  So I applied all the strength, patience and  skill in shining three pairs of shoes that must gleam before the eyes of a king.

In God’s grace and mercy after an hour of toiling with brushes and shoe shine polish, there were three pairs of shoes gleaming and ready for inspection of a king.

And though I was left alone to attend to the one and million chores at home, I felt accomplished and happy as if I already met a king.

Yolanda brought us to our knees, but our spirits remain undaunted…

For a while the Waray people were reeling from Yolanda’s unleashed devastating power.  We were besieged by fear, filled with pain, crushed by the loss of loved ones and friends, but we will rise from all these…

Many of us will find it hard to recover from our losses and the peace and security that Yolanda stole from us, but one thing is sure we will rise again.

Over the centuries the Filipinos have shown their resilience amidst slavery, oppression, war, and man-made and natural calamities.  Our ancestors have proven this time and again, now it is our turn to do the same.  And we will! The Visayans, specifically the Waray will show the world we are indeed resilient.

As Ernest Henley expressed in “Invictus”  “Amidst the bludgeonings of chance/My head is bloody but unbowed…” 

Literary Criticism

Literary Criticism

Found this great book while browsing the net…very helpful for literary criticism

Kritika 2012: Shaping the next generation of critics


11:43 pm | Sunday, May 13th, 2012


While browsing some papers on critical analysis of Philippine poetry I came across this particular article written by a former elementary pupil of mine, Michael Carlo Villas.  Am I proud?  Need you ask?

Abadaw, Padi Tamen

Abadaw, Padi Tamen, nakain ka ba?

Maaram ka ba nga kakulop nagbaha hin tuba?

Pebrero 16, 2013 – an Taboan  nalukop han kapula…

Pastilan,  padi, kun nakadto ka , naglalaway ka gud han kahamot han bahalina.

Halagad, padi, han nananagay na, magpapanulon-tulon ka gud pagsiplat pala nim ha tuba

May masaputok nga mapula-pula, mayda liwat an katin-aw

lupig pa an surudlan nga botelya.

Pero aton la ini padi ha,

Mayda ko nadiskubrihan  kakulop gud la.

Ini ngayan nga mga magsiriday ngan han marasa nga tuba,

Abadaw padi, an kamagsangkay di harumamay la.

Bisan ha paniudto dayuday katangka, pirmi gud kaupod han uruistorya.

Kahuman paniudto, nag eleksyon, padi

Ira kuno mga opisyales han hini nga grupo

Mga maniriday han Samar, Bilran, ug Leyte

Nagkakaurusa pag pauswag han literatura dinhi.

Ada, padi, tungod han tagay-tagay di nanhaha-arasya

an mga panudlok.

May nangangalimot han ngaran han iya kasapit

Mayda liwat nabubungul-bungol  na,

gin-uutro an ngaran han daan na nominado.

Pag-abot han ligas, padi, di nangagsiday na,

An kada napaprente rosi chiks ngan matawa-tawa

An kada natatawag di gud nakabaribad, nakadto gud han butnga  hin pirit

Bisan daw nawawad-an han mga linya nga  igpapa-angbit,

Kay karisyuhan man han mga maniriday.

An ira parakpak, padi, nanhahagalpak gud han kalipay

Ngan an karagtatawa, abadaw padi, nanharag-ing kaupay.

Han pagtikang ginsistahan an “Guindumdum Ko Ikaw”,

Mayda nagpa-angbit han iya kaagi han kapobrehan

ngan papangeskwela han iya kabataan,

May usa nag-iningles tungod han mga harok

May usa liwat nga daraga iginsiday an mga kagirok.

Mayda  pa gud nanbuking han nananaringsing nga “Dama de Noche” han iya Amay

Abadaw padi, kamakaluluoy  han iya nalidong nga Nanay.

Ngan damo pa adto kadurudilain la.

May naruruyag pagsaka bukid han Panamao,

Mayda liwat nagpaukoy hin bisita nga labnaw

An iba ginpalid na ha ak’ panumdum

Basta an ak’ natitigamnan na la nga ha kada siday

hi Ma’am Merlie napakpak ngan baga napapahiyum.

Porbida, padi Tamen, kun nakadto ka, nakagkanta ka gud

han im’ paborito nga “Matud Nila”.

Abadaw padi, an abre nga galonan han bahalina

di ka gud maantos, malag-ok ka man ta.

Pero maupay na la nga nakadto ka ha hirayo nga Baryo han Magsaysay

Kay bangin ka pa nagsudoy han im’ tim song nga “Agway!”

2/17/13 mbcl

Hi bloggers!

Lately, I’ve been fearful of writing poems.  It’s funny that when you know better the more careful and unsure you become.  I’m afraid my writing will not pass the high standards of the literary critics I have had the privilege to brush elbows with.  There are times, however, when your heart’s boldness wins over your mind’s timidity.  And this is one of those moments when I just wrote from my heart defying literary critics and their “barkings”…

Where I Have Been

I have walked on dirt roads

And climb their veiled hilly ends;

I have trodden crooked trails

And found surprises at river bends.

I have traveled highways

And strolled in thoroughfares;

I have tripped in alleys

And traced some lost forebears.

I have rode in carriages

And jawed with so-called nobles;

I have danced in castles

And dined on gilded tables.

I have romped in meadows

And danced under the rain;

I have wandered in forests

And sought solitude in vain.

I have sailed on high seas

And weathered fierce storms;

I have spanned vast deserts

And journeyed with vagabonds.

I have loved and lost

And borne great pains in silence;

I have fought my own fights

And rose from where I’ve fallen.

I have lived and given my all,

Yet I’ve still to ask God where I have really been.

January 30, 2013


Am I the me that you see?

Are you the you that I know?

Will a hundred lifetimes suffice

To say “oh, I understand you so”?

Who has answers and certainties?

Is every soul a lonely stranger after all?

–          Belinda  11/9/12  9:20 a.m.

I actually have no idea yet how to entitle this poem.  These words just came in a flash this morning and I just had to write them down.  Any suggestions dear bloggers?  I would really love to hear from you.  Many thanks!

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