Saturday, September 20, 2008

Climate Change Controversy

Contrary to common notion, science does not always arrive at conclusions as absolute truths. Although concrete empirical evidences are the best proofs, the interpretations of these proofs are subject to consensus. In spite of the rigorous testing, experimentation, data collection, and peer reviews, scientific theories are not always established as facts. There are some scientific issues that remain to be controversial. It seems that scientists are divided into camps when it comes to some important issues. The issue of climate change is one of the hotly debated issues today. Although all scientists agree that there is indeed significant change in the climate, they do not agree on what is causing it.

However, most experts assert that the main cause of global warming can be traced to human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuel. On the other hand, there are some heretics that oppose this human factor theory. These scientists also have their voluminous pile of confirmable data to support their assertions. They are pointing out to the fact that the earth had already undergone dramatic climate changes in the past, long before humans existed. Some factors that are being examined for periodic and dramatic climate change are the sun’s activity, ocean’s currents, volcanic activities, and cosmic rays. It has also been noted that the correlation between the amount of carbon dioxide and high global temperature and other greenhouse gases may not necessarily have a cause and effect relationship. At worst, the cause and effect relationship might be reverse. The high temperature is causing greenhouse gases from natural sources to be released into the atmosphere.

Since Al Gore and the IPCC have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, the world awareness on climate changed has risen. The efforts of Al Gore to propagate climate change awareness have earned him global recognition as a serious environmental advocate. His most notable work was the film documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Although the film itself has received international awards, there are some critics who pointed out the obvious biases in the way the film documentary was presented. Some critics dismissed the film as an outright propaganda material and money-making venture to further Al Gore’s political agenda. The film documentary fed on the fears of people by presenting a doomsday scenario. The supposedly scientific facts presented were grossly exaggerated and misleading. Some theories and assumptions were even presented as facts. Al Gore might have political agenda under his sleeves but the recognition of his efforts has resulted in global awareness and actions. Al Gore became the high-priest and global preacher of the gospel about climate change. Some politicians are now riding in the bandwagon.

In the Philippines, the politician most notable for riding with the bandwagon of climate change politics is Governor Joey Sarte Salceda of the province of Albay. He even formed an office that will focus on his policies related to climate change. This office is the Center for Initiatives and Research in Climate Change Adaptation (CIRCA). Like Al Gore, Governor Salceda is not an expert on climate change. He is not even a noted environmentalist. He is an expert in economics. Whatever the real intention of Governor Salceda in his present environmental advocacy, it seems that it is benefiting Albay Province. This province is now declared as the pilot province for a national program on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Funds poured in the province as a result. The areas of agriculture, infrastructure, and education are the concerns of the said program. National and international conferences were already held in Albay regarding climate change. Since the devastation of typhoon Reming in 2006, climate change has become a real issue in Albay that is now being addressed. Hopefully, the people of Albay are the ones that will truly benefit from the initiatives of the local government. On the other hand, if Governor Salceda is really serious in proving his sincerity about his environmental cause, perhaps it would not be a very big sacrifice if he will give up his cigarette smoking.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Time in a Bottle

by Jim Croce
(Download MP3)

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with....

This song is one of my favorite folk songs written and sung by Jim Croce (1943-1973). This song seems to be a romantic love song but this song was actually written by Croce for his son. The song became the number one hit in the music charts three months after Croce tragically died in a plane crash. The song is sentimental but also philosophical. It expresses the love of the singer but also his wishful thinking. It tells something about the evanescence of time. In some ways, the song seemed to have been a premonition of Croce's impending death.

YouTube Video

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Paul Potts Sings Opera

His name sounds more like the name of a former Cambodian dictator. No, he is not a genocidal Khemer Rouge leader. He is not even Cambodian. He is British. Far from being a megalomaniac tyrant, Paul Potts is a shy and unassuming man. He is a mobile phone salesman-turn-opera singer. His name might sounds like the name of the notorious PolPot but his voice sounds more like Pavarotti. He is the winner of the Britain's Got Talent t.v. show -- the British version of American Idol. Even the unapolegetic and quintessential snob, Simon the Cynical-Critic, was impressed by Paul's performance. Watch this video of his audition performance. The judges and audience were stunned by this unassuming man. Some even broke into tears upon hearing him sing Nessun Dorma.

Here is the video clip of Paul Potts audition:

YouTube Video:

The story of Paul Potts' success is a classic example of the "Do not judge the book by its cover" maxim. Many have underestimated Paul when he stood on the stage to audition. He looked nervous and not very confident. However, when he started to sing, the audience was simply blown away by the power of his voice.

Shopping for Halloween Costumes

When was the last time you saw Little Red Riding Hood dancing with the Big Bad Wolf? Have you ever seen Batman carrying a bag of candies knocking on every door? Do you find it odd to drink a glass of wine with a warlock and a demon? What will you do if you see elves, fairies, and leprechauns in your front yard? Well, perhaps you can call your neighborhood ghost busters. Hmm, wait a minute! Elves, fairies, and leprechauns are not ghosts! You are not dreaming or getting crazy. These are just costumes. It is just Halloween. Designing or buying your own Halloween costume is only limited by your imagination. The genres of costumes range from the macabre and traditional horror costumes to fairytale costumes.

Halloween costumes reflect the fantasy of the wearer. It is only during Halloween that you can ride the train or drive your car while portraying your alter ego without attracting too much attention. Halloween is not only for kids. It is also for adults. It is the only time of year that you can freely morph as an alien from outer space without alerting NASA, FBI, CIA or MIB. If you are an intergalactic visitor, Halloween is the only time of the year that you can safely prance around in your native costume.

Speaking about Halloween costume safety, it is also very important that you find the right store. You can either go to the nearest mall, wait in long queues for hours or you can simply shop online. You can conveniently shop for costumes for you and your kids by simply browsing the online catalogs. The vogue when it comes to grownup costumes is pirate motif. Pirate costumes are available for both male and female swashbucklers wannabes. They are also available as sexy outfits. On the other hand, when it comes to kid costumes, the animal costumes are now becoming more popular. For your costume needs, CostumeCauldron is an online store that offers the most impressive costumes at very affordable costs. Shopping for costumes was never this easy. Avoid the crowd. Shop online, right from the convenience of your home.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Visit Costa Rica

There is no other Central American country that is more popular than Costa Rica. Joining any Costa Rica Forum will convince you that the said country is worthy to visit. If you are a US citizen, you are lucky because this tourist Mecca is just a few hours away by plane from the US mainland. Forums about the country are good avenues to interact with people who actually visited the place. They can give you useful tips, thereby making you more prepared. Reading forum comments is interactive. Comments are not purely propaganda. First-hand impressions about Costa Rica can be reliably gathered from forums. You will not regret your stay in Costa Rica if you are well-informed. Aside from your maps, tourist guide book, and forum interactions, reading Costa Rica Blogs is also helpful. This is true especially true if these blogs are written by tourists who actually visited the place. Costa Rica offers marvelous ecological tourists attractions.

Human Society and Consumerism

Human society is a very complex society. It is far more complex and intricate than anything that can be found in nature. It is more complicated than a beehive, an ant colony, coral reef, or a termite community. Unlike other animal societies, human society retains the individuality of its members. It is also a highly flexible society. Although it has highly specialized sectors, its members can easily change roles. Its individual members can even have multiple roles at the same time. Unlike other animal societies, human society is very dynamic. It evolves faster than its individual members. It has evolved to cater not only to mere survival of its members but also to artistic and scientific pursuits. It has become sophisticated enough to appreciate the beauty and grandeur of nature. It is capable of understanding the very fabric of the universe itself. It is capable of reflecting unto itself. It is the only society that has the concept of future. It is capable of learning and passing down its knowledge from one generation to the next.

On the other hand, sophisticated as it is, human society is far from being perfect. It is still striving to achieve utopian ideals. Despite of its wealth, many of its members are still not benefiting from its progress. Its distribution of resources is inefficient. It is ironic that in the midst of plenty, many are still hungry and are barely able to survive. Scarcity is not the problem but the way wealth and resources are distributed. It is a society that is based on consumerism. Only those who have the capacity to buy are the ones that benefit most from the products and services that it produces. Good quality of life is accessible only to a minority. There are even sectors of this society that do not even have access to basic survival needs.

Consumerism as an economic system of the human society is an unjust and inefficient system. It is a system that is not anymore based on actual needs but rather on artificial wants. These are wants created by the mass media. People are not anymore eating merely to satisfy their hunger. They eat to satisfy their palate. People are not anymore wearing clothes as protection against the weather. They are wearing clothes to show-off. The more expensive a piece of clothing, the more desirable it becomes even if it is not anymore practical to wear. Some people are building houses not anymore to serve as shelters. They build houses to showcase their success or exhibit their wealth. It is really hard to understand why the broom closets of some mansions need to be more expensive than the shacks along river banks occupied by at least six-member families each.

Consumerism is not based on needs but based on greed. It fuels the individual desires to have more possessions even if these possessions are not anymore necessary and only become burdens. Ironically, consumerism produced communication technologies but it has made communication gaps become wider. To some extent, computers, cellular phones, and the internet paradoxically isolated individuals rather than making them more cohesive. Some people have lost the capacity to communicate in an individual or personal level. Gadgets seemed to have made some people numb about other people.

On the other hand, consumerism has impact not only on the social behaviors of people but also on the biosphere itself. Consumerism is taking too much from natural resources and converting these raw materials into unnecessary but coveted products. Hence, natural resources are depleted much faster than it is being replenished. Some resources are not even renewable. Consumerism is taking too much from nature without replenishing it. At the same time, it is also dumping waste in the process. Unlike other systems, such as a forest or a coral reef, the resources are not effectively used and recycled by the human society. Balance is therefore not preserved. Consumerism is the complete opposite of the natural order.

Take for instance the case of the automobile industry. It is an industry being sustained by the mining the earth of petroleum and metal. Petroleum products end up polluting the air as they are converted to greenhouse gases. On the other hand, the metal parts of the automobiles end up rusting in junkyards. Although some of these metals are recycled, large bulk of these materials are lost to oxidation. Just imagine how many tons of rocks and soil have to be removed just to produce the metals needed for car production. Just imagine how much river, lake, or ocean siltation it causes. On the other hand, some of the materials used in cars are not recyclable. Materials such as polymers and fiber glass end up in some landfills, waiting millennia to be decomposed.

Consumerism resulted to the mass production of surplus products that eventually end up as garbage. Every time you shop, you contribute to the piling up of garbage. The irony of this is that most of these products benefit only very few people in spite of their abundance. Significant amount of these products are only wasted. To prove this concept, just visit the food court of a nearby mall. Observe how much food end up in the garbage bin.

Human society is a sophisticated society. However, it is not sophisticated enough to provide for all its members. It is not sophisticated enough to be capable of optimizing resources without too much non-recyclable waste. When it comes to this aspect, an ant colony can be considered to be a far more efficient and just society.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Stored Sunlight

(NOTE: Republished from YPEC blogsite)

For about 100,000 years of existence of Homo sapien sapien as a species, it only reached its one billion population mark in the last 200 years. For many millennia, human population has stayed below one billion. Since the 1800’s, human population has been steadily increasing in an exponential rate. It is not a mere coincidence that this population growth has reached its sudden explosion alongside with the Industrial Revolution. When humans learned a new way of producing goods in a massive scale, it resulted in product surpluses. Efficient food production and better medicine meant longer lifespan and better opportunity to reproduce. The Industrial Revolution also brought fort the rapid development and expansions of cities.

Greater bulk of products available meant greater population can be supported. On the other hand, the rapidly increasing population meant greater demand for goods. This has become a vicious cycle that resulted to unsustainable growth. Mass production supported the ever increasing population while the population created insatiable demands for products. Although it brought prosperity and comfort, it also resulted in many problems that we are facing today. Mass production and large population require tremendous amount of energy. Somewhere along the process, too much bulk of wastes is produced. Nonrenewable sources of energy are continually being depleted just to maintain this process.

In ancient times, long before the invention of the steam engine and petroleum-powered machines, human population is supported by renewable energy. The radiant energy of the sun is the main source of this renewable energy. Humans were dependent on the daily energy coming from the sun. Humans were not yet capable of exceeding the daily energy quota provided by the sun. For instance, a hectare of wheat field can only produce certain amount of grain based on the sunlight it receives throughout the year. This biomass of wheat grain can only be converted into certain amount of human biomass. The level of production was still within the subsistence level. Surplus products were rare.

However, when civilization learned how to utilize fossil fuel, the efficiency of production dramatically increased. The distribution of these products was also made convenient by the invention of engine-powered vehicles. Hence, products became easily available to the masses. The use of fossil fuel made it possible to produce more food, improve health care, and increase mobility. These paved the way to the creation of cities. All of these resulted in the sudden increase in population. Humans became free from the bondage of daily energy quota of the sun. Humans learned how to utilize ancient stored sunlight.

This stored sunlight is in the form of fossil fuel. The sunlight energy stored by primeval forests, sea creatures, and land fauna became the fossil fuel. Ancient biomass was compacted under tremendous pressure and temperature for millions of years. This biomass turned into hydrocarbons as a result. The sunlight energy stored in this fossil fuel is now sustaining factories, power plants, and automobiles. Every time you turn the ignition key of your car, you are actually burning remnants of extinct biodiversity. The remains of prehistoric forests and fauna are literally being burned. It took millions of years for the fossil fuel to be formed but it only takes a few seconds for it to be burned.

Fossil fuel provided energy surplus to support the exponential population growth. But this energy is not sustainable. Fossil fuel is predicted to be totally depleted within a century. If this happens a sudden crash in the economic and political systems is expected. The world is facing yet another global war. Since industries are dependent on fossil fuel, economic tension will become worse as the supply of fossil fuel continues to be depleted. Petroleum will steadily become a coveted and rare commodity. As fossil fuel becomes rarer, world instability will increase.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What Matters Most

Dowdload MP3-Aiza rendition

It's not how long we held each other's hand
What matters is how well we loved each other
It's not how far we travelled on our way
Of what we found to say
It's not the spring you see, but all the shades of green

It's not how long I held you in my arms
What matters is how sweet the years together
It's not how many summertimes we had to give to fall
The early morning smiles we tearfully recall
What matters most is that we loved at all.

It's not how many summertimes we had to give to fall
The early morning smiles we tearfully recall
What matters most is that we loved at all.

What matters most is that we loved at all.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Just When I Needed You Most

By Randy VanWarmer
(Download MP3)

You packed in the morning and I
Stared out the window and I
Struggled for something to say
You left in the rain
Without closing the door
I didn't stand in your way

But I miss you more than I
Missed you before and now
Where I'll find comfort, God knows
'Cause you left me
Just when I needed you most

(Left me, just when I needed you most)

Now most every morning I
Stare out the window and I
Think about where you might be
I've written you letters
That I'd like to send
If you would just send one to me

'Cause I need you more than I
Needed before and now
Where I'll find comfort, God knows
'Cause you left me
Just when I needed you most

(Left me, just when I needed you most)

[Instrumental Interlude]

You packed in the morning I
Stared out the window and I
Struggled for something to say
You left in the rain
Without closing the door
I didn't stand in your way

Now I love you more than I
Loved you before and now
Where I'll find comfort, God knows
'Cause you left me
Just when I needed you most
Oh, yeah
You left me
Just when I needed you most

You left me
Just when I needed you most

Friday, May 30, 2008


By Julian Lennon
(Download MP3)

Verse 1:
We are a rock revolving
Around the golden sun
We are a billion children rolled into one
So when I hear about the hole in the sky
Saltwater wells in my eyes

Verse 2:
We climb the highest mountains
We make the desert bloom
We're so ingenious we can walk on the moon
But when I hear of how the forest have died
Saltwater wells in my eyes

I have lived for love
But now that's not enough
For the world I love is dying (and now I'm crying)
Time is not a friend (no friend of mine)
As friends we're out of time
And it's slowly passing by...
(slow strum)
Right before our eyes

Verse 3:
We light the deepest ocean
Send photographs of Mars
We're so enchanted by how clever we are
Why should one baby be so hungry it cries
Salt water wells in my eyes

Verse 4:
We are a rock revolving
Around the golden sun
We are a billion children rolled into one
What will I think of me, the day that I die
Salt water wells in my eyes

YouTube Video:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sorry, Blame It On Me

by Akon
(Download MP3)

As life goes on I'm starting to learn more and more about responsibility
I realize everything I do is affecting the people around me
So I want to take this time out and apologize for things I have done
And things that have not occurred yet
And the things they don't want to take responsibility for

I'm sorry for the times I left you home
I was on the road and you were alone
I'm sorry for the times that I had to go
I'm sorry for the fact that I did not know
That you were sitting home just wishing we
Could go back to when it was just you and me
I'm sorry for the times I would neglect
I'm sorry for the times I disrespect

I'm sorry for the wrong things that I've done
I'm sorry I'm not always there for my son
I'm sorry for the fact that I am not aware
That you can't sleep at night when I am not there
Because I am in the streets like everyday
Sorry for the things that I did not say
Like how you are the best thing in my world
And how I am so proud to call you my girl

I understand that there are some problems
And I am not too blind to know
All the pain you kept inside you
Even though you might not show
If I can apologize for being wrong
Then it's just a shame on me
I'll be the reason for your pain and you can put the blame on me

You can put the blame on me [4x]
Said you can put the blame on me [3x]
You can put the blame on me

Sorry for the things that he put you through
And all the times you didn't know what to do
Sorry that you had to go and sell those packs
Just trying to stay busy till you heard from Dad
And you would rather be home with all your kids
As one big family with love and bliss
And even though Pops treated us like kings

He got a second wife and you didn't agree
He got up and left you there all alone
I'm sorry that you had to do it on your own
I'm sorry that I went and added to your grief
I'm sorry that your son was once a thief
I'm sorry that I grew up way too fast
I wish I would've listened and not be so bad
I'm sorry your life turned out this way
I'm sorry the FEDS came and took me away


I'm sorry that it took so long to see
They were dead wrong trying to put it on me
I'm sorry that it took so long to speak
But I was on tour with Gwen Stefani
I'm sorry for the hand that she was dealt
For the embarrassment that she felt
Just a little young girl trying to have fun
Her daddy should never let her out that young
I'm sorry for Club Zen getting shut down
I hope they manage better next time around
How was I to know she was underage
Enter 21 you know the club they say
Why doesn't anybody wanna take blame
For rising back out disgracing my name
I'm just a singer trying to entertain
Because I love my fans I'll take that blame
Even though the blame's on you [3x]
I'll take that blame from you

And you can put that blame on me [2x]
You can put that blame on me
And you can put that blame on me

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sa Ugoy ng Duyan

(L. San Pedro/L. Celerio)
Sung by Aiza Seguerra

Imeem Player:


Sana'y di nagmaliw ang dati kong araw
Nang munti pang bata sa piling ni nanay
Nais kong maulit ang awit ni inang mahal
Awit ng pag-ibig habang ako'y nasa duyan

Sana'y di nagmaliw ang dati kong araw
Nang munti pang bata sa piling ni nanay
Nais kong maulit ang awit ni inang mahal
Awit ng pag-ibig habang ako'y nasa duyan

Sa aking pagtulog na labis ang himbing
Ang bantay ko'y tala, ang tanod ko'y bituin
Sa piling ni nanay, langit ay buhay
Puso kong may dusa sabik sa ugoy ng duyan

Sana'y di nagmaliw ang dati kong araw
Nang munti pang bata sa piling ni nanay
Nais kong maulit ang awit ni inang mahal
Awit ng pag-ibig habang ako'y nasa duyan

Sa aking pagtulog na labis ang himbing
Ang bantay ko'y tala, ang tanod ko'y bituin
Sa piling ni nanay, langit ay buhay
Puso kong may dusa sabik sa ugoy ng duyan

Nais kong matulog sa dating duyan ko, inay
Oh! inay

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Isang Salitang Maraming Kahulugan

Sinulat Ni Carena Marte Murillo

Sa dinami-dami ng mga salita na ating ginagamit sa araw-araw, ang salitang ito lamang ang laging nakakapagpapaalaala sa akin ng kagandahan ng buhay. Ito rin ang salitang sumusubok sa aking katatagan. Sabi nila ang salitang ito ay maraming kahulugan mabuti man o masama. Ito halos ang dahilan ng lahat ng taong nabubuhay kung bakit sila natututong lumaban o magparaya. Hindi ko pa lubos na nauunawaan noon ang kahulugan ng salitang ito at lalong hindi ko nasisiguro kung meron nga nito. Ngunit halos lahat ng tao ay mariringan mo na binabanggit ang salitang ito sa ibat-ibang pamamaraan. Ang salitang iton rin ang dahilan kung bakit ang tao ay nakararamdam ng ligaya, kalungkutan, paninibugho, pagpaparaya, kasakiman, at pagkabigo. Ang salitang ito ay maari mong madama maging ukol sa kalikasan o sa bayan.

Lumaki ako sa tahanang punong-puno nito. Simula sa aking mga magulang at mga kapatid, ibinigay nila ito sa akin ng walang pag-iimbot. Subalit natakot ako at nalungkot sa aking mga nakita sa labas. Marami pala ang mga pinagkaitan nito. Sa kabilang banda, mayroon din na mga mapaglaro ukol sa salitang ito.

Nagdaan ang panahon at ako ay natutong makipagbuno sa agos. Nandoon din ang mga pagkakataon na ako ay umiwas upang hindi ko maranasan ang masaktan o makasakit. Masyado akong naging mapagtangol sa aking sarili. Subalit ang katotohanan ng aking pag-iwas ay ang karuwagan. Ako ay naging duwag na makaranas ng pighati.

Merong isang kaibigan ang nakapagsabi sa akin na malalaman mo lang ang tunay na kahulugan ng salitang ito kung ikaw ay masasaktan. Subalit ayaw kong masaktan kaya mas pinili ko ang umiwas. Sa di sinasadyang pangyayari na dulot ng pagkakataon, ang aking kaibigan ang naging salamin ko ng masamang bunga ng salitang tinutukoy ko. Masyado syang naging bigo dahil dito.

Ngunit sadyang hindi mo masasabi ang agos ng tadhana. Isang tao ang pumukaw nito sa akin. Ni hindi sinasadya o pinilit. Isang araw ay naramdaman ko na lang na ako pala ay hindi kasing manhid o duwag ng katulad ng iniisip ko. Dahil sa kanya, natuto akong lumaban, manindigan, umasa, magtiwala at makita ang kagandahan ng buhay na hindi ko pa nakita. Natutunan ko kung paano ang umibig.

Ang dating payak at walang panganib na pamumuhay ay napalitan ng pakikipagsapalaran. Natuto akong makibaka. Natuto akong maging matatag. Subalit nandodoon pa rin ang pangamba. Nandodoon pa rin ang takot na ako ay masaktan. Ang tanging nagsisilbing lakas ko upang mapaglabanan ang lahat ng ito ay ang aking kabiyak. Kung wala siya, hindi ko alam kung saang direksyon ako babaling.

Natuto akong magmahal. Hindi ko man ginusto na ito ay matutunan, nagising na lang ako isang araw sa katotohanan na ito na pala ang nagpapagalaw sa aking buhay.

Ayaw kong matutunan ang magparaya. Hindi ko gagawin ang magparaya at isuko ang taong pinakamamahal ko. Sa kanya umiikot ang buo kong pagkatao. Sabihin man ng iba na ako ay sakim, hindi ako makakapayag na may ibang umangkin ng pag-ibig na dapat ay nakalaan lang sa akin.

Kasakiman ba na ipagtangol ang tahanan na aming itinayo? Marami na ring nagdaang bagyo ngunit ang tahanan na ito ay nakatayo pa rin. Patuloy itong mananatili hangang ito ay nakasalig sa pag-ibig. Kung ano man ang pinagdadaanan namin ngayon, alam ko na ito ay aming mapagtatagumpayan na magkasama.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ang Lupang Ito

by Gary Granada
(Download MP3)

Simoy ng bukid at hamog sa linang
Luntiang paligid ang aking kinagisnan
Mahal na magulang at mga anak ko
Dito isinilang sa lupang ito

Sa init na labis at salat na ulan
Dinilig ko ng pawis ang lupang tigang
Binhi ay sumibol, nag-usbong, nag-uhay
Nagbunga at bumuhay ng maraming buhay

Ngunit dumating ang araw
Ang lupa'y naagaw at nasiil
Ng mga dayuha't banyagang
May mahiwagang dokumentong papel

Ang aking paniwala magmula pa noon
Iba sa panukala na nakasulat doon
Ang sinabi ng pari ay di raw totoo
Na Dios ang may-ari ng lupang ito

Sa aking bulong at sigaw
Tangis at hiyaw at walang nakinig
Ngunit sa kataastaasan
Ang katotohanan kailanman'y di lingid

Ang Dios ng pag-ibig at kapayapaan
Dios din na hukom, Dios ng katarungan
Babalik na ang hari, magsusulit kayo
Sa tunay na may-ari ng lupang ito

5th Tomas Arejola Literary Contest

Rules and Regulations

1. Open to all Bicolano writers writing in any of the Bikol languages. There shall be no discrimination on the basis of age, gender or religion. Contestants under 18 years of age are, however, required to submit a certificate of parental consent.

2. The 2008 Premio is open in the poetry, fiction, essay, drama and the novel categories.

* Entries in poetry must consist of at least 10 poems but not more than 15 poems.
* Entries in fiction should be at least 7 pages in length but should not exceed 9 pages. Entries in the children’s fiction should be at least 5 pages in length but should not exceed 8 pages. Entries with a plot and narrative suitable for an illustrated storybook of at least 30 pages are preferred.
* Entries in the one-act play must be of sufficient length to approximate a performing time of at least thirty minutes. Full-length plays should have a performing time of at least an hour and a half. Entries in the play categories may be intended for children and/or adults. Plays for children, however, should be directed principally to promote Bicolano values and traditions in the grade school level, ages 7 to 12.
* In the essay category, entries should be at least 5 pages in length but should not exceed 8 pages.
* Entries in the novel may deal with any subject, provided it is tackling issues relevant to Bikol realities.

3. Only new and unpublished works are acceptable. A work that has been awarded a prize in another contest is not qualified for the awards.

4. Entries should be written originally in Bikol and not a translation of a work written in another language. The works must show literary merit and social significance.

5. Contestants may join in all categories but can submit only one entry per category.

6. All entries must be submitted in four copies, double spaced on 8 1/2 X 11 inches bond paper with one inch margin on all sides and the page number typed consecutively, e.g., 1 of 8, 2 of 8 and so on. Font must be Arial and font size must be 12. Entry must be submitted with pseudonym only and not the author’s real name. Author’s name and pseudonym must be submitted in a separate sealed envelope together with a bio-data containing the author’s literary background, an ID picture, and contact information. A notarized declaration of originality and authenticity of authorship must accompany the entry.

7. Entries must be addressed to the Premio Tomas Arejola para sa Literaturang Bikolnon 2008 at the above address not later than July 31, 2008. Entries sent by mail or courier must be postmarked /invoiced not later than July 16, 2008.

Entries submitted via e-mail must be a Word Document file and sent as an attachment together with the contestant’s bio-data containing his/her literary background and a notarized certification or authenticity of authorship of the entry. The original copy of notarized certification and ID picture must then be sent to 2008 PTALB thru mail. Entries submitted via e-mail must be submitted not later than July 31, 2008.

8. Failure to comply with any of the requirements shall result in disqualification from the awards.

9. Copies of winning entries shall remain with and become property of the Premio. Copyright of the works remain with the author but the latter grants, assigns and transfers into PTALB the right without necessity of any payment other than the prize which may have been awarded to publish the winning entry or portion thereof as it may at its discretion.

10. The Premio has the right of action against the author if it may later on discovered that the contestant is not the creator or owner of the copyright to the winning work. The Premio shall not be liable to any court action if a third party files a case against the winner and/or contestant who plagiarized the work of the said third party.

11. Finalists from each category shall each receive the Premio Tomas Arejola Diploma of Merit. A top winner will be chosen from among the finalists who shall then receive the Premio Tomas Arejola medallion and P2, 500 cash prize. All of the said category winners is eligible for the Grand Prize, the winner of which shall receive the cash prize of P10, 000 and will be named Parasurat kan Taon (Writer of the Year). The winners shall be responsible for the payment of government taxes.

12. Names of the finalists will be announced in local weeklies and radio stations around mid-August 2008.

13. The Board of Judges shall have the discretion not to award any prize if in its judgment no meritorious entry had been submitted.

14. The Premio has the sole right to designate the persons who shall constitute the Board of Judges. The decision of the majority of the Board shall be final.

15. The names of the winners and members of the Board of Judges shall be announced on or before Sept 18, 2008, Tomas Arejola’s 143rd birth anniversary, in a gala awarding ceremonies in Naga City.

16. Send your entries to “Pang-Lima na Premio Tomas Arejola para sa Literaturang Bikolnon, The Arejola Foundation for Social Responsibility, c/o Museo de Caceres, Elias Angeles St. Naga City, Philippines” or email PTALB through

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pagsamba at Pakikibaka

By Gary Granada
(Download MP3)

Ang pagsamba at ang pakikibaka
Pagpupuri at ang pakikipagkapwa
Ang pagsamo at pakikisalamuha
Sa pangalan niya

Alang-alang sa kanyang kadakilaan
Ang katarungan at kapayapaan
Alang-alang sa kanyang kaluwalhatian
Ang kalayaan ng sambayanan

Pagsasapamuhay ng ating pananalig
Bunga ng pinakadakila niyang pag-ibig
Ang gawa ng pananampalataya
Sa pangalan niya

Alang-alang sa kanyang kadakilaan..

Si Kristo'y sapat at ganap na kaligtasan
Ng ating kaluluwa at lupang katawan
Kung mahal natin ang Dios
Ang dukha't nagdarahop
Ang api at hikahos
Sa pangalan ni Hesus
Kalingahin na

Monday, March 31, 2008


By Gary Granada
(Downdload MP3)

Kung ang ulo niya'y masagi sa balikat mo kaibigan
Ikaw na sana ang marunong umunawa
Ibig lamang maidlip ang lamog na katawan
Ng isang pangkaraniwang manggagawa
Sa maraming pabrika ang pahinanteng tulad niya
Ay palipatlipat na namamasukan
Sa lamig ng magdamag, pagod niya'y sinasagad
Sa munting paghahangad na mabuhay

Kulang ang maghapon upang makaipon
At makakaahon ang isang dukha
Kulang din ang pawis kahit labislabis
Kung ang nagnanais ay maralita

Natutunan niyang hamakin ang sakit at sakuna
Tatlumpu'tpitong taon na siyang nasanay
Sa matang namumutla ay inyong mapupuna
Siya'y mamamatay sa kakahanapbuhay
Sa mga nagpapaluwal ang sahod niyang butalbutal
Nasanla nang matagal sa kagipitan
At kahit siya magpapagal, pilit mang isusugal
Ang hapo at nangangatal niya nang laman

Kulang ang maghapon..

Samantalang may isang panginoong maykapital
Ang nagdiwang at nagdaos ng hapunan
At kabilang sa hapag ng panauhing pandangal
Ang tanyag at ang banal sa ating lipunan
Halos ang bawat isa'y makapangyariha't matagumpay
Dahilan sa isang taglay na katangian
Ang matibay na loob na magsawang mabusog
Habang may nangangatog sa hapdi ng tiyan

Kulang ang maghapon..

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Alay Kay Cris Hugo (1986-2006)

Tulad mo ay tangkay ng palay
Na maagang ginapas bago pa man ang anihan
Halos wala pang bunga
At naghihintay pa ng tag-ulan

Lumisan ka na hindi man lang nakapagpaalam
Nawala ka kasabay ng alingawngaw
Meron nga bang kabuluhan
Ang iyong pagpanaw?

Kung ang karamihan ay wala pa ring pakialam
Ano nga ba ang saysay ng iyong inialay?

(Feature Article: A Small Guy with Big Conviction)

Thursday, March 20, 2008


By Carena Marte Murillo
(my wife)

Hindi lahat ng pakikibaka
Ay sa pamamagitan ng punglo o spada
May mga labanan na ang tanggulan
Ay ang puso at isipan

May mga digmaan
Na nagaganap sa gitna ng katahimikan
Ni hindi ginagamitan ng pulbura
Ni hindi tinutustusan ng bala

May mga mandirigma na ang baluti ay papel
Ang panangga ay mga kataga na sumusupil
Ang kanilang mga sandata ay hindi baril
Kundi pluma at tiklado ng makinilya

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Child of the Forest

Our son will be a child of the forest
He will be conceived in the mist
The same mist that kisses the mountain peaks

We will share bearing him
We will share the birthing pains
His birth will be heralded by the twilight of dawn

Our son will be a child of the forest
His cry will echo within the ancient caverns
His tears will be like the dripping water of caves
Forming the pillars and drapes of forgotten age

Our son will be a child of the forest
His shelter will be the canopy of leaves
His bed will be the soft carpet moss
He will frolic among the antelopes
He will hunt among the wolves

Our son will be a child of the forest
Among the ivies, lilies and vines
In the silence of the flowing brooks
He will learn the song of the jungle

Monday, January 28, 2008


Life is a fleeting flame
That is extinguished
Long before the embers
Are turned to ashes

But some flames
Shine more brightly
And some flames
Burn more warmly

If only for an instance
The dark night brightens
If only for a moment
The coldness is defeated

Eternal slumber awaits
But before we all sleep
We must ask ourselves
Have we been truly awake?

Monday, January 21, 2008


Nakatingin s’ya sa malayo
Waring may tinatanaw
Banayad ang mga alon na humahampas sa dalampasigan
Kagabi lang ay pumalaot ang kanyang asawa

Nagsisidatingan na ang mga bangka
Ngunit hindi n’ya pa rin maaninag ang kanyang hinihintay
Parang kinukurot ang kanyang puso
“Huwag naman sana,” sabi n’ya sa sarili

Banayad ang mga alon na humahampas sa dalampasigan
Ang mga mumunting liwanag ng mga bituin
Ay unti-unting napaparam ng pasulpot na sinag sa silangan

Banayad ang mga alon na humahampas sa dalampasigan
Wala namang madilim na ulap
Ngunit parang dagundong ng kulog ang kanyang pangamba
Na para bagang may unos na parating...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Somewhere Around the Bend

In the gloom of the night,
Somewhere around the bend,
I saw you standing.
You were waiting for someone whom you really don’t know.

The light from the lamppost was dim,
But I can clearly see the contour of your face.
Perhaps it was the makeup,
Maybe it was the contrast of the shadows.
I really don’t know…

A cat has suddenly leaped from the trash can,
It was chasing a rat or perhaps just a shadow of a rat.
It startled you a bit.

You lit a cigarette to calm your nerves.
The smokes spiraled upwards as if they were thin, sharp appendages.
However, as quickly as they were formed, they also quickly disappeared.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Sugatang mga daliri
Pupod na mga kuko
Kulubot na mga kamay
Sa maghapon na trabaho

Bula ng sabon
Sa maruming pantalon
May bahid pa ng lipstick
Hindi naman galing sa labi ng amo niyang babae

“Hoy, tapusin mo na yan!”
Sigaw ng misis na malaki ang tiyan

Isang daang piso sa maghapon na trabaho
Kulang pang pambili ng pulutan ng asawang lasengo

“Anak, umutang ka muna
ng sardinas diyan sa may kanto…”

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sparkplugs Sonnet

‘Twas his first time to drive a car alone
Without knowing where to go or why now
He simply rode and drive away from home
The engine roared as if choking snow

Fog engulfs, ‘twas a misty morning
The pistons churn as the sparkplugs fire
But the engine power seemed snoring
A sigh! High-voltage current seemed to ire

“Need sparkplug replacements?”-- said the sign
Without turning a glance, he passed-by
Without knowing where to go or to find
Adventures he dreamed. Was it just a lie?

The pistons churn as the sparkplugs fire
Without knowing where or understand why

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I don’t know exactly how
I don’t know exactly when
I don’t know exactly why
I don’t even know exactly where
But it simply did

Suddenly, almost without warning,
It came like surging waves
I was swept by its force

Like a ship in a stormy sea,
I was almost dashed against the rocks

Somewhere between waking and sleeping,
It entered my consciousness
From then on, I understood
What it meant to be schizophrenic and paranoid
All at the same time!