Keeping a Promise


It’s been a while. I thought my fingers have forgotten its love for blogging, but here I go again and blogging my heart out.

Today is the first Wednesday of the year. It is Mary’s day. I have a duty to fulfill so I went to church to hear the mass and say my novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. After the mass, I walked my way home. I bumped to two of my students. It’s ordinary. But to my surprise, at our living room waits a long lost friend. Well that is EXTRA-ordinary on a Wednesday like this.

We talked for long. We haven’t talked for 4 years and we have a lot of catching up to do. He said he is already happily married to a girl named Savannah and blessed with 2 wonderful kids: Joshua and Mikee. He said a  picture shot when we were in a high school leadership seminar that he unearthed from his wallet reminded him of me so he decided to drive all the way from Quezon City to surprise me and to personally wish me a happy new year. He is now a full time professor in University of Makati. He teaches English. Blah blah blah.

He might have felt that he is the only one maneuvering the conversation so he finally stopped to ask how do I do and what do I do for a living. I told him that I am enjoying my life to the fullest and I teach for a living. He was surprised to know that I am teaching for he knew I finished Broadcast Communication in P.U.P. while he, on the other hand, was fortunate to get into UP Diliman and finished a course related to English language. I told him that I took up Certificate in Teaching in P.N.U., passed the LET and now serves as registrar/faculty/school manager/blah/blah/blah in a small private school near our house. He asked me to walk him to the school where I am teaching. I refused, but he insisted. In short, we walked to the school. We did not go inside of course for it is already late and the gates were closed. We don’t want to bother anybody.

As we walked ourselves back to my house, both of us were silent until he finally found voice to ask, “Bert, how are you really? Are you okay?”

I grappled for a reply. You know that moment when you run out of words? He didn’t hear a word from me.

At the corner of our street is a carinderia famous for its delicious tapsi. We decided to eat our dinner there since I weren’t able to prepare food at home for him. Had he informed me he will be visiting, I should have prepared dinner. I know it is just the 2nd of January and it is typical that there are tons of leftovers in our refrigerator. Unfortunately, we had consumed all the food Mama prepared for Media Noche and this I see as a blessing in disguise: I have a reason to keep him out of the house for us to really have a “heart-to-heart” talk.

He haven’t changed. He still likes talking while his mouth is full. For a while  we forgot to talk about our chosen career paths. We ventured on reminiscing our “leadership” days but the reminiscing did not take too long. He wanted me to answer his pending question, and, like a child, he did not stop until he had gotten what he wants.

“I am okay. You might think and assume that I am not okay but honestly I am.”

“Pero bakit…?”

“What? Are you insinuating that I made a wrong career move?”

“It is you who said that, not me.”


Again, he maneuvered the conversation. “Listen, I can help you get into University of Makati for a teaching position. Instructor. While you are taking your masters if you like. I can recommend you. You are my friend. Your caliber in literature is beyond compare, except you are not good at remembering authors’ names. Bert, I can help you be what you should be.” (Of course this is not the exact words he said, just the gist).

I failed to respond. The idea overwhelmed me. Suddenly, I felt so incapable of responding to a good news.

He further explained, “OMG. You are a crazy man! The problem with you is your softness. You are so compassionate, dude. I know. You got so attached to your clients. I know, you are treating them as your family. I know this story. I know this side of you. And I know how this kind of your stories end: you are left desperate and alone. You have given your heart away so many times to people who will just come and go and leave you miserable. You just grew old, you never grew up! Bert c’mon…”

First time in my life, I weren’t able to fight for myself, for what I really believe in.

Yet, I was able to get even, after a long, deep silence by saying, “I have read somewhere that ‘in business people negotiate to win. They negotiate to get what they want.’ I know you are used to this. You always get what you wanted and I am very happy for you. We are friends but that doesn’t mean you and I are alike. You love yourself that is why you have chosen such career path you are in now. I also love myself, don’t get me wrong. But my definition of love is different from yours and I demand your understanding and respect to it. You see, love is sacrifice. Love is being concerned about someone else’s situation as you are about your own. I don’t only have students, but children who looks up to me for their needs. I can’t just leave them. Leaving them at this point is betrayal. I have promised that I will have them graduate high school first before I will finally leave.”

“… and loving them much more than you love yourself is like killing yourself softly… gently…”

The night ended with him giving his mobile number and I looking at him as he drives his car away.

I taped his phone number on the wall of my room. I am looking at it, now and then, as I type this entry.

I will not save his number on my phone. I will just have it posted on my wall, for me to have something to look up to, to look forward to after I have fulfilled my promise. I just hope that in the end, I will not phone him just to admit that this chapter of my life in the school where I am teaching now ended the way he had predicted it to end.


A Prayer for December

Advent’s Liturgy invites us to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ in our lives by opening the doors of our hearts to Him. As we prepare this Advent, may this poem I unearthed from my files guide us along the way. Merry Christmas!

A Prayer for December by Rosalyn Hart Finch

Dearest God,

Please never let me

crowd my life

full to the brim.

So like the keeper

of Bethlehem’s inn,

I find I have

no room for Him.

Instead, let my heart’s door

be ever open,

ready to welcome

the newborn King.

Let me offer

the best I have

To Him

who gives me everything.

Fresh from morgue

Morgue is a place for dead bodies. It is a room or building usually run by a state or municipal government in which dead bodies are kept until they are autopsied or identified. For poets, it’s a gloomy place that lacks warmth and cheer. But for a writer and a journalist wannabe like myself, morgue is a collection of information. It could also mean a room or file in a newspaper office containing miscellaneous pieces of information kept for future reference.

I stumbled across this photo while cleaning my laptop files.

A news clipping from Manila Bulletin announcing Batch 28 of Makati's Ten Outstanding Students (2004).

I am done being a student, working on being a good teacher this time. 🙂

Friends help each other


FACEBOOKERS. pls help my friends win the INTEL Digital Showdown by simply following these instructions:
1. Click this link:​alshowdown/?ref=ts
2. Click GO TO APP
3. Click GALLERY
4. Click FINALISTS (at the upper right corner)
5. Watch and vote for the entries CLICK by Jessica Lovelle Villanueva and INPORMASYON by Marvin Carullo Gabas.

Villanueva and Gabas are former college classmates.

Classes suspended, students rejoice!

At long last, I am writing again. My fingers missed typing in this blog so much. Thank God, DepEd suspended classes. Now I have time for myself.

Today marks my 30th day in service as a teacher in the school where I am teaching. 🙂 One thing I discovered is that the attitude of students toward learning changed very much. Anyways, I will not be discussing much of this today. I would rather have this topic reserved until my next blog, besides classes are still suspended tomorrow.

Again, why do we rejoice when classes are suspended?

When I was still studying, I do look forward for suspension of classes just like any other student. For me, suspension of classes would mean more time for bed and lesser time for stressful works like assignments, seat works, researches and even for listening to boring lectures given by teachers.

Now that I am into teaching, I hate suspension of classes just like any other teachers (those who are professional enough I daresay) for it would only mean lesson plan changes and tremendous adjustments in order to meet your goals for the week.

But the best reason I have why I hate suspension of classes is the fact that others are suffering much due to floods and deadly winds. For us here in the Metro, we may not feel the drastic effects of heavy rains, different for those in the rural areas. For them, this is the time for evacuation, hunger, fear, trauma and worst, loss of lives.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not acting kill joy tonight. But, allow me to clearly stress two things: sensitivity and maturity.

I know we are sensitive and matured enough to understand the message of this blog tonight. Let us help those who are in need and volunteer ourselves in praying for all Filipinos who are having their worst of time because of Juaning.

Lastly, the next time we’ll gonna hear announcements about suspensions of classes, even postponement of work hours, let us think twice before rejoicing. Again, sensitivity, maturity.


Second Chance(s)

I had 92 emails today from concerned netizens about my aside entry I Loved You and my Facebook status saying: leaves you behind. I got to move on. I have a promising life to face and enjoy. See you in heaven. I am very happy to know that my readers grew from 64 to 92 and it is comforting to know that 92 people care for me.

I enjoyed reading the emails. It took me almost 2 hours to finish all the letters which came from different walks of life: from a professional teacher, to teacher wannabes like me who are taking up CTP courses in PNU up, to OFWs, to teenagers (it took me 30 minutes to digest their letters written in jejemon and bekimon). I will be more than happy to read your reactions the next time in my blog though (use the leave reply link) so that my readers would know your thoughts as well but please, reserve your personal written thoughts about my writings for my yahoo or Facebook inbox.

The person I said I loved called 10:46 last night (I wrote this blog at around 1:00am today). The person said sorry and is asking for another chance. Honestly, I immediately said yes. I quote myself, “let’s start all over and renew the face of the earth.” Remember that the person called me a complete liar? It’s true. I am a liar. I said I loved the person. That’s a lie for my love never ended, even the person called for a break-up.

Everyone deserves not just a second chance but second chances (plural). Religious defines love as patient, kind. But the best definition of love I do cherish from this experience is that love keeps no record of wrongs. It always trusts, hopes and perseveres.

Since I have been officially awake for 48 hours now, let me close this entry now. I promise to continue typing my thoughts tomorrow. Until then and believe that love is sweeter the second time around. I wish. 🙂

*let us widen our vocabulary (for my students):

netizen (noun) internet term an English portmanteau of internet and citizen. An entity or person actively involved in online communities and user of the internet, especially an avid one. Synonymous with cybercitizens

jejemon (noun) pop culture a person who has managed to subvert the English language to the point of incomprehensibility (Urban Dictionary); a new breed of hipster who have developed not only their own language and written text but also their own sub-culture and fashion (Phil.Inq.); people who expresses their laughter in SMS by typing jeje

bekimon (noun) pop culture jejemon of gays in the Philippines; a gay who extensively uses gay lingo in daily conversations even in writing to the point of incomprehensibility; following is an example of bekimon video: