Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ode à mon Père

Last April 15, 2011, my father passed away due to pulmonary complications caused by cancer. He was diagnosed with stage 4 Nasopharyngeal Cancer in October of last year. If you happen to come across this post of mine today, please say a little prayer for my dad, Rolando M. Arenas. I believe in good intentions, so if it isn't too much, I ask you to pray for my family as well. We'll miss my old man terribly, but we've to let him go now. I'm glad he has now found rest. 

Today is Easter Sunday and it's the 9th day since my dad passed away. We visited his urn at the Columbary and prayed the rosary for the repose of his soul. If there really is an after life like what most religions dictate, I believe it only knows boundless love; there is no pain and suffering. 

I believe we are all alive somehow, whether we move through our frail bodies or one day turn to ash.

A song for my father, wherever he is. 
When you go and you must, 
my tongue will turn to dust
and goodbye won't mean a thing
on a day like today, 
I'll believe anything you say...

Dear Papa,

I know you're in a better place now. Mom, Ian, and I will miss you everyday, but we'll keep it together for you. Thank you for everything, we love you. I know I'll be seeing you one day, but until then I'll keep you in my heart.

Your only daughter,


We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestation. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But part of us greater than the sum of all parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. 
--John Green

Before death summons us, we've got to live. There is no other triumph quite like it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In My Native Tongue

Tanong ni Spyl Balangatan:

"Sa bagong henerasyon ng mga estudyante, 
mahalaga pa ba kung saang eskwelahan 
ka nagtapos at kung may honors ka?"

Ang aking sagot:

Dalwang Punto

·         Eskwelahan
Ang masasabi ko lang ay kahit na malaki ang impluwensiya ng paaralan sa'yo bilang mag-aaral, sa iyong pagtanda, hindi sila ang nagpapasya kung ano ang landas na tatahakin mo. Bagamat mahalaga sila sa pag-hubog ng iyong kamalayan, mas mahalagang mamulat tayo sa katotohanang ito: The school DOES NOT make you, YOU make the school-- 'di mo utang ang iyong buong pagkatao sa paaralang pinanggalingan mo. Gumaganda lang ang pangalan ng eskwelahan pag may "maipagmamalaki" silang nagtapos sa institusyon nila.

·         Karangalang pang-akademiko
Naniniwala akong may halaga ito. Ngunit, kung hangad mo lang ang karangalan o titulo higit pa sa tunay na karunungang iyong magagamit upang makatulong sa kapwa mo at maging mabuting tao, kalimutan mo na. Wala kang pinag-kaiba sa mga mapagmataas at aroganteng politiko. Sayang lang and award, paubaya mo na sa iba.

x x x x

I'd like to thank my friend Spyl for engaging us constantly to think about relevant issues in our country. It's difficult to be upright in a place where everyone struggles to be "lamang" all the time. If you're Filipino, you know what I mean.

I miss my History and Sociology classes with my college professor, Ms. Carmen Penalosa. I realized it has been a while since I wrote or said anything in straight Filipino. I told Spyl that in those days, I actually appreciated writing papers for Rizal and History class. I never regarded it as a hassle. I looked forward to the class because I realized it concerns all of us as Filipinos. It concerns our past, how we are today, and what kind of nation we may become in the future. How can I not care?