We All Need a Poem
The imposed quarantine, hopefully ending soon, has, also hopefully, given us more time to think and reflect on the most important things. Surely, it has also given us more time to focus our eyes on TV, computer, tablet and phone screens. The internet, which brings to us happenings around the world instantaneously, is a wonderful modern way of disseminating information, but it has now also constricted the view and does not show the whole picture of what is going on in the wor
Will the Birds Come Back?
BIrds had been flocking to our deck to feed -- cardinals, sparrows, finches, blue jays, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, doves -- beautiful with their different colors and sizes. They were all around the feeders pecking at seeds. The deck floor was covered with swarms of the hungry winged creatures. They came at various times in the morning and afternoon. Bird-watching is a pastime we have enjoyed from the glass doors of our dining room. Recently, all of a sudden, the birds stopped
"Not Just Yet"
Looking for a book to read this Pentecost Sunday, I chanced upon St. Augustine's "Confessions," called" the greatest spiritual autobiography of all time." It reminded me of his famous prayer: "Please God, make me chaste, but not just yet." Augustine led a worldly and immoral life. But with his mother's prayers and God's grace, he saw the light and eventually lived a life of holiness and service to the Church. When one is in the best of health and young, the allures of the wor
"Bilin ng Ating Magulang"
At the Catholic grade school in the Philippines where I taught Filipino Grammar and Literature decades ago, the textbook series we used at all levels was "Bilin ng Ating Magulang" by Virginia Palma-Bonifacio, a grandmother, in the 1960s. For those who do not speak or understand the Filipino language, that title can be loosely translated as "Admonitions Our Parents Leave with Us." As in other languages, words can have different meanings and nuances. In the context of this book
Songs in the Heart
"With A Song in My Heart" is the theme song of an old movie of the same title. Like any love song, it expresses the feelings of a lover for his/her beloved. The first line is: "With a song in my heart, I behold your adorable face." We all feel the presence of love in our hearts. It can be love for a person -- a girlfriend/boyfriend, a wife/husband, a mother, a child, a friend. It can be for God Himself. Love songs are composed by people who can set in words and music what the
From the Mouth of Infants . . .
Every other day of the week are special days at home. Little Soleil, our two-year-old granddaughter, comes. She gives us much joy. Like any toddler of this generation her age, Baby Soleil likes watching baby/kiddie shows like Cocomelon, Wiggles, Mother Goose Club, etc., on TV and tablet. Lately, however, she gets quickly tired of them and, in her cute way, lets us know she wants us to change the channel to religious songs we have played for her before, which she listens to un
When I called an appliance repairman to fix my old washing machine, he said it is a good brand and it can work for many more years. He added that some similar newer brands are not as durable. It occurred to me that his description of my old machine in some way fits the term "antigo" in the context it is used in the Philippines. The word was adopted into the Filipino language from the Spanish "antiguo," meaning "old or ancient." "Antigo" has come to refer to old things made of
"Memento Mori," Pandemic or Not
Recently, two first cousins of mine, both the eldest siblings in their respective families, passed away a week apart from each other. One died of Covid, the other of cancer. In jest, I said to another cousin that this probably indicates a trend that the eldest sibling in each family will go next. I am the oldest sibling in my family. My cousin said she could pull my hair for being so negative. She apparently did not get the joke or the possibility of truth in it. Thinking abo