Last Sunday morning, (you wouldn’t believe it) I prayed a lot. And cursed, too. Just a couple of hours before the fight, I was testing my culinary skills on an original recipe (pork stew, chinese style) locally known as “Humba”, and pancit guisado using that delicious flat noodles that I recently discovered—when we suddenly had a freakin’ brownout. I called up and asked my secretary to call up and inform VECO that a man is about to become insane if power will not be back before fight time. Specifically, pay per view time. Well, VECO promised to be able to restore power before the fight. My houseguests, law partners and staff who came all the way to my home in Talamban did not come, I know, for my pancit and humba. I didn’t know if expletives might just ignite, spark or restore power in time for the fight, but I experimented on it anyway. To be sure, I also prayed. Minutes before ten o’clock, we had power. It’s now time to pray for Pacman. Continue reading
LEONILA C. FERNANDEZ (1945-2008)
When I was a child, new to this world,
curious eyes, a fragile mind unfurled;
her love I remembered,
but pain I took to heart-
a pain masked by naked strength,
pain she shrouded in most part
with niceties of motherhood,
But God knows I understood,
for that pain never escaped me.
the unruffled look in her face,
and a voice—such comforting grace,
yet the eyes betrayed, and could not hide;
spoke of loneliness, uncertainty.
She’d loved a husband who died.
the grief of a young widow,
with no means, alone, to take care of
one unborn, a two-year old, to love.
We took, we ate, we grew, damn! We’re fools;
she cuddled, held us, her precious jewels.
No hands of hers pushed me to certain roads,
but where I went, paths were lit by her words.
I saw my mother struggled and worked to put food on the table. Early on, I knew I had no luxury of causing her more pain. The message was unsaid, but clear to my young mind then. She sought no personal comforts, no luxuries, no gifts. When I had the means, I had the greatest difficulty of finding, if not, buying that thing to make her happy.
Her love was pure and unconditional. She sacrificed and chose to delay her own personal joys so she could give us ours. I realize we, her children, were her life.
She is sorely missed.
In her death, I thought I would,
as dark clouds loomed in the road ahead,
summon that pain again, instead,
it was pain that summoned me.
On October 28, 2008, a few minutes before midnight, my mother, Leonila C. Fernandez, succumbed to cancer.
Earlier, it was perhaps, the longest, most distressing, and agonizing two-weeks I ever had. It was difficult feigning a deportment of normalcy at work and trying to put my anguish and worry out of sight for two straight weeks. To a certain extent during the day, when absorbed in work, I did forget, well at least momentarily, the much dreaded thought of losing the person I love so much, someone I wouldn’t dither taking a bullet for. But every day after I leave work and head to the hospital where she was confined, I was greeted with numbing bites of a grim reality, as shown by the unexpectedly rapid deterioration in her condition. It had become less and less a dreaded thought but more and more a mounting certainty.
A few weeks before, after months of chemotherapy, a surgery, and radiation, we all heaved a sigh of relief when she responded positively to the treatment. All the laboratory results showed that her organs were clear of antigens, and that she was virtually free of cancer. That’s why the sudden and early recurrence was very much unexpected, and very painful. This agent of death—cancer—had already metastasized to the liver, and had become very aggressive.
Death proved to be such a ruthless thief. It probably just lurked behind the pall of darkness. It was furtive and waited until fate was just about to bestow the gift of hope—hope that my mother would still be there for years to come—when death coldly wielded its scythe.
In a recent decision, the Supreme Court, voting 7-5, declared as unconstitutional cityhood laws passed by Congress concerning 16 municipalities, among which is my hometown in Leyte, Baybay. The High Court granted the petition filed by the League of Cities of the Philippines which sought for the nullification of the cityhood laws. Put simply, the law, specifically Republic Act No. 9389 from which the cityhood of Baybay emanates, is now declared void and unconstitutional.
This may come out as an unpleasant surprise to many Baybayanos who already are getting used to the gratifying idea of Baybay as a city. But perhaps to a few of us, who were aware of this extant petition pending before the Supreme Court, the idea of cityhood may still turn out to be far from being a permanent certainty.
What makes the Supreme Court take on the role of a kill-joy to the Baybayanos? Continue reading
Just got my copy of Journey’s latest album “Revelation” with Arnel Pineda doing the lead vocals. It has peaked as the No. 1 Independent Album in the Billboard charts. Its exclusively distributed by Wal-Mart in North America, so I had to ask my wife to ask her friend to ask her husband who’s in the states for a brief sojourn to ask his friend to bring the copy back here in the Philippines. I just paid more than a 500 bucks, well, for 2 CDs and 1 DVD on one of their live concerts. Disc 1 contains their latest songs and Disc 2, re-recordings of their old hits. I listened to it already, and watched the DVD. It’s all worth it. Arnel Pineda is indeed, in his own words, “rockin’ the world”.
He turns one year old today. Time really flies so fast, it only seemed like yesterday when I wrote this post.
The many faces of Ethan Victor:
THE CURIOUS ETHAN
THE YAWNING ETHAN
THE GIGGLING ETHAN
THE EXCITED ETHAN
THE SLEEPING ETHAN
On my way back to Cebu City from that court hearing in Argao, Cebu, I couldn’t resist capturing these beautiful images of trees with its arms appearing to lurch and flex to the other side of the road, as if deliberately done so in order to provide that much needed shade for the weary travellers. I was not driving, so I was free to bide and shoot these momentary idylls, as the miles sped by.
Argao RTC Courtroom
Just last Wednesday, my second trip to Argao, Cebu for a court hearing had been filled with much anticipation, strangely not so much from the case I attended, although I got the Writ of Preliminary Injunction my client desperately needed, but more from the fact that I brought with me my new DSLR camera. Ha ha ha… I’ve never been this profoundly shallow.
You could count me in as one of those who joined the emerging DSLR craze. Pondered on it for a year, and last month, I finally bought it: a Canon EOS 450D. I had previously set my eyes on either the Nikon D80 or Canon 40D but after a bit of tedious research on the internet, the rave reviews for the 450D just did it and won me over. The more candid reasons, however, were that: I couldn’t find a Nikon D80 or a Canon 40D in the stores of Cebu, and the EOS 450D appeals more to beginners like me.
I have long been interested in photography, and the new-found enthusiasm it breathes within has me now scraping for time learning its rudiments. Now, I very much feel like a freshman law student encountering such weird terms like “aperture”, “shutter speed”, and “depth of field”.
My visit to Argao, I think, was not without some gratifying shots. If some “real” photographers happen to pass by this post, I very much welcome your criticisms.