People, Poems and Quotes

“The Man Born To Farming”

The grower of trees, the gardener, the man born to farming, whose hands reach into the ground and sprout, to him the soil is a divine drug. He enters into death yearly, and comes back rejoicing. He has seen the light lie down in the dung heap, and rise again in the corn. His thought passes along the row ends like a mole. What miraculous seed has he swallowed that the unending sentence of his love flows out of his mouth like a vine clinging in the sunlight, and like water descending in the dark?

watermelon harvest by thecolorofred

happy women's day
People, Poems and Quotes

To women who forget

Sometimes, I forget that I am young.

I forget that I have only been blessed with a quarter of a century.
I forget that mistakes are part of trying.
I forget that fear is motivation, not food for anxiety.
I forget that friendship takes kindness, and openness.
I need to forget those who have made me less kind and less open.
I forget the way a first kiss feels.
I forget to smile sometimes.
I forget what it’s like to be wooed, except by myself.
I forget that it’s better to woo yourself than to expect others to do it for you.
I forget how to give a genuine hug to someone other than my mother and my father. Because I’m fearful others won’t return it.
I forget the sound of my first boyfriend’s voice.
I forget to eat well.
I forget to make eye contact, retail has killed a friendlier version of myself.
I forget not to stand tall and act like I don’t care, because of how I was approached when I cared.
I forget that kindness and courage can go hand in hand.
I forget who I was when I was 19.
I forget what it looks like when someone wants to be your friend.
I forget because I remember that no one can change my life, only I can.
I remember these wonderful women who have looked me in the eye, and told me good, and kind words. Strong words.
I forget that each day is a blessing. That each day is what I make it. That each day belongs to me and me alone.
I’m going to forget forgetting and start remembering.

I forget.

– via thatkindofwoman

happy women's day to women who forget

Food, People, Poems and Quotes

Fridays4farmers: ode to the farmer

But the farmer he must feed us all.

The prayer at table is often uttered in thanksgiving to God for the food. But it is good to also include blessings for the farmer(s) who actually planted and cared and harvested ingredients of our food despite vagaries of sun, wind, and rain; for farmers to be able to continue on feeding themselves and the universe with healthy produce.

People, Poems and Quotes

Weekends

weekend reading
2016 is such a leap year! Changes we don’t normally see or allow to happen in so short a time did happen. The speed is mind boggling! Work too. That’s the leap in the year! I’ve recently completed evaluation of 1,000+ shelters among other components of an aid project. Everytime I look up at ceilings, I find myself thinking about cleats, tie ups, nuts and bolts and such things. I need to unload these off my mind. So when free days present themselves, I earnestly spend them catching up on solitude. Away time is good. It recharges mind and body and helps put things in perspective. In these moments, I come back again and again to love as the sum of all laws. But love in practice undergoes transformation. Leonard Cohen, one of my favorite musicians who recently passed away, aptly describes this practical side of love in his iconic song Hallelujah: Love is not a victory march. It’s cold and it’s a broken hallelujah.
Poems and Quotes, Technology

The MRT again

urban public transport

“Where are you, ma’am?” the agency staff had called to inform me that the donor representative I was meeting had a noontime flight and needed to be at the airport at least two hours early (since after the President declared a national emergency) hence if I could come earlier.

This info had me switching from my initial plan of going by taxi to using the MRT which remains the quickest means to get from A to Z in the metro. At the station I found the lines ridiculously long even after rush hour.

It was my first time again to ride after several years. The one change I noticed was the e-cards. I observed a young woman do the card in at the turnpike. OK I could do that.

On the platform above, there were almost no people on the opposite side going north while us southbound passengers were like live sardines waiting to be packed in. A guard tried to humor the sombre-faced lines of women. “Why is it,” he said, “that the men are quicker getting into the cars?” Getting no response from the crowd, he continued “because there everybody’s pushing everybody inside whereas women they pull the others out.” I twitched with suppressed laughter. Yup. Bitchiness of women sometimes. It’s why gender equality has not completely happened. We’re our own greater enemies.

Normally, it takes 15 minutes to reach my destination but because I was only able to get inside the fourth MRT that came in, travel took 40 minutes total. By then, the donor rep had left for the airport. We contended with teleconferencing. I waited two hours more for the agency staff who I had another transaction with. He came in at noon. Good thing the building is conveniently located, along EDSA and walking distance to coffee houses and eateries.

Inside the elevator, after my meeting with the staff, an Indian consultant who was also on his way out was advising agency staff who had a flight later in the day to go early, “in fact, now if you can. I’m often on travel here and the traffic’s terrible.”

I had concluded my business for the week and was also homeward bound. That was around 1 PM, the best time (1-4 PM, actually) to ride the MRT. Lesson there is, finish your business before these hours. The Indian national obviously knew this. There were no lines on the platform just three persons max going into each door. Bliss.

Inside the MRT car, passengers on my seat were talking about a recent video on social media that went viral. It was taken inside one of these cars, of someone who refused seat to a girl who’d requested. The girl allegedly was exhausted from school activities. The chitchat revolved around the good and bad sides in video taking and uploading. The good side, they said, is MRT commuters will be more sensitive to fellow travelers. The bad side- anybody could take a video about anything and upload that anytime for an entire world to witness. Ah. A good discussion indeed. Societal changes that technology bring. At 1 PM too!

The emergency power for the President to manage traffic discussed in Congress is overkill of constitutional powers. What government – the MMDA and LGUs (not national government) – should do instead is to craft (1) a traffic management strategy alongside an urbanization strategy, (2) policies to support the strategy e.g. community re-education to change attitudes on the value and importance of using public transport, incentives for owners of transport lines to upgrade their units, car pooling and other carbon footprint reducing modes of transportation, and (3) budgets to actually be able to implement, monitor, evaluate, and continually improve the policies.

Humor, Poems and Quotes

If ads spoke the truth and nothing but the truth…

News is that the Department of Tourism is ditching it’s slogan it’s more fun in the Philippines! and soliciting the public for a new one. Why not the truth as in “truth in advertising”? But then we all know that truth in advertising does nothing to set a product or service “free”.

My life's a mess via thenewyorker