Author Archives: HARDPEN

NANG MAHOLDAP SI MAM

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Kayo po ay muli kong kukwentuhan,
Paksa natin ngayo’y tungkol sa holdapan,
Kwento na nasagap sa isang huntahan,
Nang mga kapwa guro’y naka-umpukan.
 
Nang kwentong holdap ko’y kanilang nadinig –
Aba’y may isa ng tawa’y bumunghalit.
Isang kwento daw ang samagi sa isip,
Nang magsimula siya kami’y tumahimik.
 
Isang gabi guro niya sa kolehiyo,
Sumakay sa bandang Taft papuntang Recto,
May mga kawatan… bilang daw ay tatlo,
Sumigaw – “Walang kikilos holdap ito!”
 
Ibang pasahero syempre’y nataranta,
Ngunit ang guro mukhang naka-relax pa,
Holdapan yata ay nakasanayan na,
Inihanda ang relo’t kaniyang pitaka.
 
Madaling-madali ang mga kawatan,
Mabilis na mga gamit ay sinamsam,
At nang ang guro na ang nilalapitan,
Isang holdaper kasama’y pinigilan.
 
Ang wika niya, “Brod, balato ko na si mam!”
“Magaling kong guro noon sa iskul ‘yan,”
Dugtong pa ay, “Hi! Good evening po madam.”
“Ako po ba ay inyong natatandaan?”
 
Natamemeng guro ay umiling lamang,
Ibang pasahero’y nagulumihanan,
At bago bumaba ang mga kawatan,
Wika ng isa, “Goodbye na po, ingat mam!”

The Jungle Story

pretty-scene-with-animals-in-a-forest_1196-296 (1)These articles were some of the blogs I wrote  way back in 2009 and posted in another website. These ones specifically chronicle my experiences when I was working at a Catholic institution.

I owe a lot from that school and the Congregation that operate it. I would say that I spent my best years as an educator in  that school. That organization helped me shaped my philosophy as a teacher and as a school administrator. Whatever I learned there still inform the decisions I make as an educator today. It’s one of the best schools, if not the best one, in Bulacan, Philippines.

There is only one thing I regret when I was there. When it was time for the Congregation to re-assign their leaders (they do so every three years), we were unlucky to be  given a leader that we didn’t deserve. That’s my opinion.

At that time I did not expect to meet a school administrator whose leadership style and interpersonal skills are plain awful and downright unacceptable. It was the least I would expect from an educational leader and a “religious.” The unspeakable experiences I had with that leader consequently  led me to decide to leave the institution. In the process I gave up a chance of receiving a decent amount of money in terms of benefits from the school’s pension plan. All that I needed then to do was to bear another school year with her so I could complete the required 10 years for me to qualify to get that amount. But it wasn’t worth it.

Peace of mind is a priceless commodity… almost a rare item. No amount of money can buy it. Since that “religious” took the reins of leadership of the institution, I felt like I stopped growing personally and professionally. I kept criticizing her and the policies of the school which I know is not a healthy thing to do. I was no longer having fun at work. So, I decided to leave. My other reason for leaving is – it’s against my dignity as a person to say negative things about my employers but continuously work for them and accept their money. It doesn’t make sense.

My wife disagreed vehemently with that decision. She is a practical woman. I was head of the Education department, the pay is more than enough for us to meet both ends and enjoy some of the luxuries of life, and the workplace was just a 20-minute drive from home. She tried to convince me stay for even just one more year for the pension benefits. But I said no. There’s one thing more important than money – DIGNITY.

So, going back to what I said several paragraphs back… the only one thing I regret when I worked with the institution.

That regret is the subject of this collection of blogs that ran from 2009 to 2011.

Why do I consider it a regret?

It is not because the school administrator assigned to us was the embodiment of what a leader should not be.  It was my fault. I expected nothing but the best from her because I got used to the excellence and benevolence of her predecessor who brought out the best in me.  When her predecessor left and she took over, things changed… not for the better. To cut the story short, she succeeded in bringing out the worst in me. That is what I regret. I came to a realization that I don’t deserve to be a Catholic educator. That realization made easier my decision to leave the institution that was my second home for nine years.

So here’s the series of those blogs. It’s just unfortunate that (probably) the ones who could really understand these blogs (and could relate to them) are the ones I worked with in that institution during those times. But I hope you would read on.

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THE JUNGLE STORY

There was once a hallowed forest  populated by animals (of course!). The leaves of tall trees were so thick that the golden rays of the sun could hardly filter down. Shrubs and grasses abound effectively hiding the light alluvial soil. Life was abundant in the hallowed forest.  Different animals from different species abound.

The forest  was ruled by specially-trained and and carefully-bred animals belonging to the “veiled clan.” Only those who belong to the clan would have a chance to lead a forest that belongs to their clan. The members of the “veiled clan” take turns in controlling several forests scattered in the face of the earth.

The animals there worked so hard to make that forest  hallowed as it should be and for almost a century that the forest existed  in peace, harmony and prosperity. It maintained its pristine beauty through the efforts of the animals and their benevolent leaders from the veiled clan.

Those years were the Golden Age of the forest. But the forest  was not meant to stay in the pinnacle of success. Just like different civilizations on earth,  it passed through  own Dark Age. It happened when the “veiled clan” decided to bring in the hippopotamus as the new leader of the hollowed forest.

This series of blog-story begins with the coming of the hippopotamus.

Please click here to continue reading.

 

Ang Holy Water

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Si lola Basyang ay isang biyuda,
Si aling Luring nama’y isang soltera,
Sila’y sanggang dikit, laging magkasama –
Silang dalawa’y tunay na magbarkada.

Sa kanilang baryo ay may isang kapilya
At doon, si Lola Basyang ay nagpunta.
“Luring… dalian mo, ako’y nandito na.”
Aniya sa kaybigan nang tumawag s’ya.

“Nandyan na kumare, nasa jeep na ako,
Heto kasing driver… mabagal magpatakbo.
AYY… hayan binilisan, narinig ako.
Sige mareng Basyang, pababa na ako.”

“Mama para… mama dyan na lang sa tabi.”
Di huminto ang driver, tila yata nabingi.
Sumigaw ang Luring…”PARA NA SABI!!!”
At biglang pumreno, driver na narindi.

Nagkabusiksikan mga pasahero
Napalakas yata sobra ang pagkakapreno
Si aling Luring hiyang-hiya’t dismayado
Katabing lalaki’y hawak sa pundiyo.

“Ay dalag!” Bulalas ni aling Luring.
“Hindi dalag… cobra po yan kung tawagin.
Aray! Teka po… h’wag ninyong sakalin,
Bitawan n’yo na’t baka kayo tuklawin.”

Buamaba ang hiyang-hiyang aling Luring,
Tahimik na umusal ng panalangin
“Ako’y patawarin Diyos na mahabagin,
Kamay kong nagkasala ay lilinisin.”

Dali-dali itong pumasok sa kapilya
“Ay ang aling Luring nandito na pala.”
Wika ni lola Basyang nang siya’y makita.
“O… aanhin mo iyang bitbit mong tasa?”

“O…bakit? Ang holy water sinalok mo?”
“Mareng Basyang, nagkasala ang kamay ko
May lalaking nahawakan ko ang pundiyo
Kaya’t holy water ang panlinis dito.”

Pagkahugas… si aling Luring lumuhod.
Ang Basyang dahan-dahang tasa’y dinukot,
At pasimpleng ng holy water sumalok
Ipinasok sa bibig… siya’y NAGMUMOG.

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