- I wrote this blog on the 30th of January after the massacre of the 44 members of SAF that horribly took place in Mindanao. I did not post this because during those days, the issue was very controversial and my dad advised me to not meddle with my already troubled country. It would be like adding insult to injury. Now that Noynoy Aquino will soon be our ex president, I thought this is the right time to say my piece. This is how some political analysts would look at Pnoy (President Noynoy Aquino of the Philippines) as the Commander in Chief. While his right hand is busy with the finality of the Bansamoro Basic Law, to which the population of Maguindanao consists of mainly MILF members (who are allegedly the people behind the massacre), him trying to be the gentleman and the diplomat, rubbing elbows with the leader , which I find ‘incredibly ridiculous’, (knowing that these are the same people who were involved in the number of massacres that occurred several years back) fervently hoping that they will finally surrender their arms and embrace peace with the government, Pnoy’s left hand is persistently persuading the Senate to have this BBL implemented until at least before his term ends. So what happens now? Not everybody agrees with the BBL, trust is of the essence and as far as the MILF is concerned, my instinct tells me that they are not worthy of that. The BBL has a long way to go. It still needs a lot of reading,interpolations, discussions, amendments and a hundred percent consensus by the Senate and even more, a referendum for the entire nation. It can not just be implemented, not now or more so not ever. The MILF has been consistently defending themselves that they are not the culprit of these tragic massacres but in reality, they seemingly are. If only we have an extraordinarily observant leader, with strong political will, conviction and discernment, he should be smart enough to be able to read between the lines. History shows that MILF do not follow the rules of ceasefire and the leaders should not be too assuming that after BBL, the whole country will at last live in peace and harmony. Harboring international terrorists is unforgivable and unacceptable. The person rooting for the BBL was the same person who gave the go signal to attack without vigorous planning. Pnoy wanted to take the credit and show the world that he has a legacy to leave before his term ends, but at the expense of SAF and innocent civilians and individuals? Unfortunately, the mission failed and the massacre goes on and on till the present. BBL will never be the solution or if at all there will be a solution. Long and tedious planning , then maybe, just maybe peace will be achieved only if people, Christians and Muslims alike will realize the meaning of human respect and compassion. I condemn this tragic event and I have no words to the wives , children and family of the SAF fallen commandos. War is stupid and the people perpetuating it is even more stupid. And I quote Miriam Santiago’s line, ‘Life is Hard but it’s Harder when you are stupid.’ Filipinos killing Filipinos. Is not that a humongous act of stupidity?
Freezing cold on the 29th of wintry December morning 2014, I took my flight back to Manila to behold the beautiful face of my beloved mother on her wake. The last time I would talk to her, face to face although I knew it would be a one way conversation. She can no longer agree or disagree with me, nod her head in awe when she hears good news about my career and family, utter words to remind me how proud she is that I’m her daughter, constantly motivate me to be better in whatever I do, boost my moral before a big performance, pacify me when I’m hysterical, listens to me when I tell her how lonely it is to lose a husband, and a lot more. She even becomes the mother to my daughter when I’m not around. I could go on and on and on. I was not on her bedside when she was fading away but technology helped me to tell her everything while she can still hear me.
Excruciatingly painful. That’s how my mother would phrase it when she wants to describe a feeling where pain is gravely intolerable, or when a situation is unbearably distressing or when someone is in intense suffering.
I was speaking to her over the phone while my heart is in excruciating pain. All I can do is make myself strong by controlling my tears while I bid her goodbye. As I speak to her, I realized that I will not be able to give her the tightest hug I can give. There’s no reason for me to drop by the duty free to buy a new lipstick, perfume or a new bag for my beloved mother. I will not have someone to call on to when I need a recipe for a certain menu I want to cook. ( She knows I don’t really cook though) still she would teach me how to. She said I need to learn how to cook, at least for my husband.
My mother is my best mentor in life. She was strict (specially in academics ) but kind. Having a boyfriend at a young age is totally unacceptable. Her ultimate goal for me is to get a good college education. She would endlessly tell me that getting a good education means finding eventually a decent husband. There are so many adjectives by which I can describe my first teacher. She was the love and the light of our family and I am just about to enter the door to her wake.
I was ok as the car was taking me from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to St. John The Baptist Loyola in Taytay. A little jet lagged but generally ok. When the car stopped and the driver informed me that it was time for me to get off, I started to shiver. I never felt that in my entire life. Not even on my husband’s passing away. I was shaking uncontrollably. My brother hugged me very tight and instructed me not to see my mother until I’m feeling better. It took me an hour at least before I can go to her casket and behold her timeless beauty. It was excruciatingly painful but for some reason, all my body could do was to shiver. I never shivered in my life even in a minus 10 degree temperature of a cold winter season. Strength and tolerance are just some of the famous nicknames I have I guess. My mother’s wake gave me an unthinkable shiver.
She is now eternally resting in peace with the Lord. When I pray to her, I ask her, ‘Mom, where you hugging me when I was at the footsteps of your wake?’ I felt a sudden gush of a cold wind chill devoured me upon entering the room. I would answer the question myself and say yes. She was present and telling me through my unthinkable shiver that everything will be alright. That’s my mom. And just like the song of Kenny Loggins…
‘In the mornin’ when I rise
Bringing tears of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything’s gonna be all right’ ”People smile and tell me I’m the lucky one’…