02 July 2010

Ikaw ba ay mabuting Pilipino?

Every Filipino student, from Grade I on to high school, should be required to commit this song and its lyrics to heart.

Mr. Noel Cabangon, I love your song. It should serve as an inspiration to all. Are you by any chance a Marikenyo? Because from "Tumawid sa tamang tawiran" to "Hindi nagkakalat sa lansangan" to "Inaayos ang basura" - these are all tenets by which our erstwhile mayor and MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando shaped the city into what it is today. And these are basic duties that most Filipinos seem to have neglected.

So, DepEd, public and private school administrators, how about helping our younger generation remember the foundations of good citizenship?

Here are the lyrics:

Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino
by Noel Cabangon

Ako'y isang mabuting Pilipino
Minamahal ko ang bayan ko
Tinutupad ko ang aking mga tungkulin
Sinusunod ko ang kanyang mga alituntunin.

Tumatawid ako sa tamang tawiran
Sumasakay ako sa tamang sakayan
Pumipila at di nakikipag-unahan
At di ako pasiga-siga sa lansangan.

Nagbababa ako sa tamang babaan
Hindi nakahambalang parang walang pakialam
Pinagbibigyan kong mga tumatawid sa kalsada
Humihinto ako pag ang ilaw ay pula.

Pagkat ako'y isang mabuting Pilipino
Minamahal ko ang bayan ko
Tinutupad ko ang aking mga tungkulin
Sinusunod ko ang kanyang mga alituntunin.

Hindi ako nangongotong o nagbibigay ng lagay
Ticket lamang ang tinatanggap kong ibinibigay
Ako'y nakatayo doon mismo sa kanto
At di nagtatago sa ilalim ng puno.

Hindi ako nagkakalat ng basura sa lansangan
Hindi bumubuga ng usok ang aking sasakyan
Inaayos ko ang mga kalat sa basurahan
Inaalagaan ko ang ating kapaligiran.

Pagkat ako'y isang mabuting Pilipino
Minamahal ko ang bayan ko
Tinutupad ko ang aking mga tungkulin
Sinusunod ko ang kanyang mga alituntunin.

Lagi akong nakikinig sa aking mga magulang
Kaya't pag-aaral ay aking pinagbubutihan
Hindi ako gumagamit ng bawal na gamot
O kaya'y tumatambay at sa eskwela'y di pumapasok.

Ipinagtatanggol ko ang aking karangalan
Pagkat ito lamang ang tangi kong kayamanan
Di ko ibinebenta ang aking kinabukasan
Ang boto ko'y aking pinahahalagahan.

Pagkat ako'y isang mabuting Pilipino
Minamahal ko ang bayan ko
Tinutupad ko ang aking mga tungkulin
Sinusunod ko ang kanyang mga alituntunin.

Ako'y isang tapat at totoong lingkod ng bayan
Pabor o lagay ay di ko pinapayagan
Tapat ang serbisyo ko sa mamamayan
Di ko ibinubulsa ang pera ng Bayan.

Pinagtatanggol ko ang mamamayang Pilipino
Mga karapatan nila'y kinikilala ko
Iginagalang ko ang aking kapwa tao
Ipinaglalaban ko dangal ng bayan ko.

Pagkat ako'y isang mabuting Pilipino
Minamahal ko ang bayan ko
Tinutupad ko ang aking mga tungkulin
Sinusunod ko ang kanyang mga alituntunin.

Ako'y isang mabuting Pilipino
Minamahal ko ang bayan ko
Tinutupad ko ang aking mga tungkulin
Sinusunod ko ang kanyang mga alituntunin.

Pagkat ako'y isang mabuting Pilipino...

14 June 2010

Salt of the Earth

Two eggs over easy, two slices of toast, a mug of steaming-sweet-creamy coffee: there’s no better way to start your day than with a hearty, traditional breakfast.

While I was cooking my two perfectly sunny eggs this morning, I accidentally spilled a handful of rock salt while trying to shake out the smaller particles to sprinkle on my eggs. (I’d run out of fine salt.) This got me thinking about our summer excursion to Bolinao in Pangasinan, where we made a roadside stop at Dasol to take pictures of the salt beds along the highway.

The salt beds are a grayish-brown checkerboard of shallow ponds, punctuated by small mounds of neatly piled salt. These beds have sluices that are opened to allow seawater to pour into the ponds. Imagine a pond with about three inches of seawater. The water steams in the sun for a few hours, when thin crusts of salt would form on the surface and sink to the bottom of the pond. Then come the workers – men, women and some children – with their rakes (imagine the blade of your windshield wiper attached to a long pole) to scrape up the encrusted salt. When small piles have been gathered, the workers scoop the raw salt into baskets and transfer them to a bigger pile. These will be brought to the cooking sheds to be washed, boiled and condensed into pure rock salt.

Did you know it takes a family of 6-8 workers (children included) an entire day to gather around 20 baskets of raw salt and this amount will still be reduced maybe to half of that to make the rock salt you see in Metro Manila markets? How much does the family get paid per basket, I wonder? (I didn’t think it proper to ask the young man I interviewed.)

A ganta of rock salt from the sidewalk vendor in the city market costs 10 pesos. Considering that, the factory that cooks the salt, the buyer who brings the salt to market, the salt wholesaler, and the small-time retailer all have to earn something. How much of your 10 pesos goes to the family sweating it out in the salt beds of Dasol? (By the way, in the rainy season, the salt beds are converted into fish ponds.)

I’m sure when you watch “How’s It Made” on Discovery Channel, salt appears to have found an easier way to your table from the salt mines. But that’s economies of scale. This is the fruit of a hard day’s labor from people who are the salt of the earth.

That’s why I prefer rock salt bought from the market to refined salt from the grocery. Somehow it imparts a lustier, more savory saltiness to everything you cook.

31 May 2010

Cedric's Cartoon Network Birthday Bash

May 22 was an EXTRA SPECIAL DAY for Cedric. In four days, he would be 8 years old. But his birthday celebration came ahead. It’s his FIRST EVER birthday party. And all of it was courtesy of CARTOON NETWORK.

Sorry if I’m blogging like a teenager with all caps and exclamation points, but I’m so happy that my son finally got a taste of a REAL birthday party. And I finally got a taste of the excitement of being the one giving it – even though we DIDN’T actually DO anything except hand out the invitations. Yes, believe it: we just had to hand out the invites and appear at the Big Red Barn on the date of the party. Pretty cool, huh!

Here are some scenes from the party…

This is the Big Red Barn at the Fun Ranch, where the party was held from 10am to 1pm. It's a fun place: after the party, many of the guests (including us) stayed to enjoy the carnival rides (kids) or visit Tiendesitas (parents).

Ced was the star of the day. Before starting, the crew of Cartoon Network took his picture onstage. SMILE, KUYA! But of course, you'll have to forgive him if he doesn't want to show his teeth - he just lost one front tooth and the other one was still halfway out.

The registration table with Red Barn's angels...
and Ced posing beside his favorite CN character: Ben 10.

Here come the guests!

These are just some photo boxes I made from the pictures taken by Elbert Malonzo, our official photographer of the day (thanks, Elbert!) with the assistance of his assistant photog, my daughter Tamiie. For pictures you can copy and save, please go to my Facebook page. I've posted ALL of them there.

Now what's a party without games? Our Cartoon Network emcee led the kids in playing loads of fun games:

The Mighty Beanz Game

Steady... wait for it... easy does it!

High five!

Mighty winners all!

Battle Strikers
Lock and Load!

Sachi: "Kuya, galingan mo! Nakaka-tense naman..."

Elijah & Ced with their prize bags

Go, Appebon Kids!

The boys are on a roll, while Haley gets a little help from big sis Gabby.

Everybody wins!

Dance, kids, dance!

Stage dad... hehehe!

But I don't wanna dance, Dad...

Take a bow, kids!

It's time for the Magic Show!

Featuring Jared the Brave...

who risked having his hand chopped off...
like the radish!

The audience was thrilled!

Get ready for the daring... Balloon-Eating Stunt!
*Note the audience reactions - absolutely precious!

A Ben 10 Birthday Cake from Red Ribbon
...and it's green, too!

The cake was, to use one of Cedric's favorite words, "scrumptious" - mocha with toothachingly sweet icing that stains your mouth alien green. Hahaha!

Gifts Galore!
From Cartoon Network: an awesome Ben 10 notebook with hologram cover, action figures, and that Blue thingy is uber-cuddly!!!

Thanks to Ate Girlie (in photo) and the CN crew for organizing this party!

From Toy Kingdom:
"Wow!! What could be inside
these gigantic boxes?"

Answer: Two humongous remote control cars!
Cedric: "Yay! Who wants to come and play?"
Mama (thought bubble): "Need... more.... rechargable batteries...."

From The Fun Ranch: a GC worth P2,500!

Last but certainly not least... let's see what's inside
The Snazz-tastic Box!!!

"Ta-dah! A Battle Strikers tournament set!"

"Mom and Dad were really happy and thankful. (Mom was so excited she forgot to think.) Thanks very much also to friends who brought me gifts, and to everyone who made my birthday a terrific day!"

All the kids received a lovely purple Chowder loot bag.

Yay, time to Eat!

Everyone enjoyed the delicious buffet of spaghetti, fried chicken, mini-burgers and iced tea prepared by The Big Red Barn.

What a Snazz-Tastic Day!
An absolutely worry-free, expense-free birthday party with lots of fun and gifts! It was so great I decided to put in a word for our sponsors :D

Parents and kids, sign up as a member at the Cartoon Network website for your chance to win a totally awesome birthday bash. That's www.cartoonnetwork.com.ph or click on the link below:

(If you can... Arrrgh!! Where's the link? Sorry, everyone, something's wrong with the scripting thingy. You can copy the link above and paste it on your browser window instead. Good luck!)