Tell me why I should not love your sister;

Tell me why I don’t deserve her.

I may be an ogre, I may be a pauper;

But these does not make me less than a lover.

Tell me why you have to take her away;

Tell me why you took my life away.

I am not Prince Charming, I am not a millionaire,

But these does not make me less than a lover


Monster me.

I am not okay away from you, but it doesn’t mean I would be better with you around. We live in a world of impermanence, all are subject to change, neither you nor I is an exemption.

The wound you left in my life still pains everyday. Throb in my heart turns me into a more callused monster. A monster who gets mad whenever someone mentions your name to me. A monster who shouts cuss words when calling their internet provider’s call center and the IVR would not allow me  to speak with a live agent. A monster who wanted to tear the book he is reading into pieces (but of course he will not because he is a bibliophile) when he gets irritated.

It has been about a year  since you bade goodbye, also, it has been a year I have these erratic behaviors. I can no longer afford be hurt again because I am afraid to loss my remaining sanity. In Biology, I learned organisms  protect  themselves from other organisms that would cause them harm. This monster would do the same.


Ondoy and Ketsana


Long long time ago, in a kingdom far far away called Redwalkdom, there live six princesses. The princesses were known for being great singers. The whole kingdom rushes to the castle to listen to them singing every time the king calls for a banquet.

The fifth princess is Ketsana. She is the king’s favorite daughter because she is the most beautiful and she sings greater than any of her sisters. Many princes from nearby kingdoms woe her. But none of his suitors catches her attention.

One day, she was wandering in the orchard when she saw Ondoy the hunchback reading a book under a tree. The farmer was aghast when he learned that the princess was looking at him. He dropped his book and stood up to pay respect to the princess.

With his knees trembling he muttered to the princess, “I-I-I am sorry milady, I am j-j-just taking a rest.”

“There is nothing to be sorry about,” replied the princess, “you must be tired toiling the soil and the sun is already scourging hot. What are you reading?”

“P-poems milady”, replied the farmer.

“That is a great read. You must be a poet yourself. What is your name?”

“Yes, milady I wrote some poems. My name is Ondoy the farmer.”

“Do you sing?”

“No, milady. My singing voice isn’t as great as yours.”

Since then Princess Ketsana frequented in the orchard to visit hunchback and listen to his poems.  Her sisters found about it. They don’t like the hunchback to be their sister’s beau.

They ordered the soldiers to bring Princess Ketsana to a distant territory called Tabak. The princess was placed in a tower guarded by a dragon.

Ondoy went to the orchard but the princess did not show up. He thought that the princess disliked his company. He wrote the saddest poem he wrote in his entire life. The Fairy of Literature read his poem and was deeply affected by it.

She appeared to the hunchback and said, “Do not afraid, I am the Fairy of Literature, I was deeply sadden by the poem you wrote. Ondoy you are mistaken Ketsana loves you. She was taken away by sisters and hid her in the Tower of Tabak guarded by a dragon.”

“Thank you, I thought she left me,” said Ondoy. “If not for you I will not know she did not leave me.”

“Don’t thank me yet. I want to remove your hunchback and I’ll give you gold so that Ketsana’s sisters will not oppose you.”

“There is nothing wrong in being a hunchback and poor, I don’t need to change. What needs to be changed is the society that discriminates people based on physical appearance and wealth,” said Ondoy.

The fairy was impressed with what he said and gave him seven loaves of bread and five slices of fried chicken. She told him the way to the tower in Tabak. She lend him also a horse so that he can travel fast to the tower to save the princess.

The travel took him only a day. The dragon sensed his coming and approached him at the foot of the stairway of the tower.

“What are you here for,” the dragon asked.

“I am here to serenade the princess,” Ondoy answered.

“The serenade the princess but you’re a hunchback and you smell like soil.  Ah! You must be a poor farmer.”

“I maybe a hunchback and farmer but I don’t differ from the royalties, I have a heart also, and even a dragon has a heart too.”

“I agree with you. Dragons fall in love too. You said you are going to serenade the princess, let me hear you sing.”

Ondoy sang a song but the dragon has to stop him.

“That is the most terrible singing I’ve ever heard”, said the dragon. “The princess will not fall in love with a singing voice like that.”

“I know”, said Ondoy, “I am just going to read this poem to her.”

The dragon read Ondoy’s poem and wiped his tears with his tail. He turn to Ondoy and said, “This is the saddest poem I’ve read in my entire life.” He went back into hiding and continuously howled.

Ondoy wasted no time and climbed hurriedly to the top of the tower and unchained Princess Ketsana. They rode on the horse that the Fairy of Literature lent him that took them farther south; where nobody knows that she was a wealthy princess and he was a poor farmer.

They started a family and raised their children. The couple was ridiculed: he-for being a hunchback and she-for marrying a hunchback but these bothered the least the couple. No amount ridicule could stop them from living happily ever after.

Dear 40-year-old Ped

Dear 40-year-old Ped,
I am writing this in the 32nd year of my existence on Earth. According to popular adage, “life begins at 40”. I do not get the logic but I found it an excuse to be careless and carefree before 40. I cannot wait until forty to start living. For years I have been bothered by the thought that I just simply exist but does not actually live.
I defy what Biology thought me about living that as long as you are motile, eating, and reproducing; you are alive. For me, to live means to function according to your purpose. Without knowing my purpose I would be wandering. I would not know where I am going and what to do. Without knowing my purpose I would be only consuming the Earth’s resources and contribute to pollution. I do not know how much I contribute to water pollution every time I use anti-dandruff shampoo. I hope the brain that is shaded by my hair can come up with at least an idea to lessen water pollution.
I hope you finally learnt how to be more expressive of your feelings. You know what I mean remember you are the older version of this wretched fool.
I just exist but I do not live. That is what I used to tell myself. I thought I am not making ripples on earth. If my earthly body dies, my home planet will continue to revolve around the nearest star in 365.25 days as if I never existed. All I had is nothing but an empty existence.
I never felt I was living because I chose to remain on the safe side. One could not live by avoiding not to offend others or to be in disagreement with others. It is unavoidable to meet opposition. We are entitled to our opinions and it is not unusual to encounter someone disagreeing with you. One will always be in conflict with someone just like stories penned by great writers. A story without a conflict, should not be even called a story. Fiction is no different from real life. Great men and women whose biographies we study did not live their lives by avoiding conflicts. They did not run away from their enemies, they faced their foes, conquered their fears and eventually won their battles. If I would adopt the principle that there is no story without a conflict to living then I can say I never felt so alive than now because there are more individuals who hate me. You, the older and I hope the better version of me, knows if hypothesis is correct.
I started writing this letter on while I was waiting for President Duterte to take oath as the 16th president. It took me days to finish this letter. I wanted to be extra cautious of what am I going to write. After eight years, my older version might be laughing at my superficiality. But being too anxious of mistakes I might commit is counter-productive. This anxiety will hinder me from taking risk and I might not write anything at all. Life is taking risks.
You know that I am a fearful person. I used to be afraid of camera flash before I attended preschool because that resembles lightning. As I grow older I learned that being brave does not mean having no fear, it is knowing how to face your fears. I am still afraid of many things. Although I am no longer afraid of camera flash but still I feel uneasy being photographed. I have an inkling that at 40, you are filled with regrets (as I am right now).
It is useless to cry in your beer! Past is nothing but history and there is no “what ifs” in history. My commitment to you is that I will do everything I think noble and right so that you will have lesser regrets. At your age, you might be assessing if you succeed. Let me remind you that success is not measured by your net worth in your SALN nor the suffixes attached to your name. Success is not measured through LET score nor the number of awards you received. Success is achieved when you serve others and ultimately empower them to serve others too.
As a teacher, you are not only ought to teach the content of the textbooks and macro skills. You have to teach them also how to dream and to believe in their dreams. Their dreams fuel them to become great citizens of the world. You can tell if I have Messianic complex because I believe I will play a big role in changing the culture and work ethics of the teachers. As I observe whenever I visit my college instructor in the nearby elementary school, his advisory class is always sent back to his classroom because the subject teacher all of the sudden decided not to teach. This is a red flag to me, it seems that some teachers are not dedicated as they should be. We need change not only in the curriculum but also in the attitude of teachers.
Teaching is not only a job but is a mission. Mission is not something that you do for a living. Mission is something that you live for. As an Evangelical Christian, mission is something that you do for God and you are willing to die for it. Now that I have found something to die for, I am certain I live. Remember you are not training your students to become your copycats you are raising them to become greater than you. It is not good for the society, to have more socially-inept individuals like you. 🙂 May the Force be with you!
Your more-foolish-self,
32-year-old Ped
June 30 – July 12, 2016

on 11/27/2016…

Life should be moving forward, but it seems that I am moving backward.

I have a feeling that what am I today is worse version of myself yesterday and the trend seem not to end soon. How did I come into this mess? An aggregate of wrong decisions plus irrational solutions to the outcomes of the former is a perfect formula to chaos.

I know what I should do but still doing what I should not.I had been through similar situations before but I never learned. My reaction is no better than before. It seems that I am wired to self-destruct.

I’ll get some rest and hope I’ll find some guts to do what is right tomorrow and reverse the flow of my narration.

Land Reform: Land soaked with sweat, tears and blood

I wrote this piece as a requirement for Speech and Theater . Of the topics given I chose to discuss CARP, a hot topic issue this election.

On the night of January 9, 2016, thirty year old Benjie Sustento was forcibly taken out of his house in Barangay Murcia, Lopez-Jaena , Negros Occidental.  He was blindfolded, gagged, hogtied, and dragged several hundred meters from a motor vehicle. The following day he was found bearing torture marks, gunshot wounds on his face and lifeless.

What did Benjie do to deserve his brutal death? He is a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program beneficiary. He fought for his right to own the land he is toiling. He was killed because he wanted be freed from his slave-like condition. Before he was killed his family was harassed while defending the land they collectively cultivate. His brother was accused of arson. His family just wanted to own a piece of land from the vast hacienda, yet, they took his life.

Benjie Sustento is now among the farmers who gave their lives to own the land the land they toil; among the seven who were killed by government operatives on November 16, 2004 at the gate of Hacienda Luisita; and among the 13 who was killed at Mendiola Bridge near Malacanang on January 22, 1987. Benjie was only a toddler when Mendiola Massacre happened; in his early twenties during Hacienda Luisita Massacre. Who would thought he will have the same fate?

Agrarian Reform was stained with blood even before it was passed into law in 1988. CARP only favors the landed families because the drafters of flawed law are hacienderos. As I speak right now, the Araneta clan is now displacing farmers from 1,645-hectar land in Rodriguez, Rizal and also evicting farmers from more than 300-hectares of land in San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan.

The government’s agrarian reform failed to break up the monopoly of land by a few elite. Hacienda Luisita, Hacienda Dolores, , Hacienda Roxas, Hacienda Looc, Hacienda Yulo, the haciendas in Negros, in Bicol, in Mindanao still remain.

Expect that the farm lands will not only soaked by sweat but also of tears, and blood if we keep on electing the hacienderos. You have the power to future of the peasant. Only a landless leader will understand the landless. Do not be convinced alone by what they say on their tv ads. Know who they really are. Read.

This coming election, remember Benjie the man who dreamed to own a parcel land but instead was killed. Vote for Benjie, vote for victims of Hacienda Luisita Massacre and Mendiola Massacre, vote for all farmers who died fighting for better lives of their families.

References: Bulatlat.com and GMA News Online


cartridge at ako

Heto ako’t nakaupo sa harap ng computer

hindi alam kung paano makakasimula.

Musika ko ang lagapak ng printer

maya’t maya’y may papel na iniluluwa.

Ang tanging hypothesis ko ay:

“Ang utak ko ay parang cartridge ng printer ko-

pigang-piga na.”

Palabo na nang palabo ang print.

Pigang-piga na!

Ganito siguro ang tumatanda na:

ano mang puno ay masasaid din,

ano mang tingkad ay kukupas din,

at ano mang talas ay pupurol din.