Archive for September, 2007


“Where have all the young men gone?”

September 15, 2007

In the frenzy of the preparations for tomorrow’s Bar Examinations, the third of four grueling Sundays, I pause to remember a young man I never got to meet but nonetheless has touched our lives in so many ways.

2nd Lt. Ariel Toledo was interred this morning in his native Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur. The honor that he bought home as the Valedictorian of PMA’s Mandala Class made him an “icon to deserving poor“as one national broadsheet heralded. Not having personally known him, he was a remote icon – someone whose story we will definitely retell but will remain in the mold of heroes who seem to hover above us mortals.

Last night changed that. Luisa, my brother’s girlfriend, told me last night that she was going home to attend her Manong Ariel’s funeral. I was taken aback with her statement and asked if she knew him. She said that she was a freshman when Lt. Toledo was a senior at the Ilocos Sur National High School and my brother’s batch was in between them. I then asked if my brother knew him. She said yes and Zaldy was even the one who gave Lt. Toledo the application form for the PMA Entrance Examination. Read the rest of this entry ?


“Destination unknown…” [The Eraserheads, “Saturn Return”]

September 11, 2007

Thank you to everyone (SMS, email, thoughts)who helped usher in the fourth decade (panic, panic) of this little life with a glad heart.

Orson Welles once wrote that “we’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion that we’re not alone.” Dark thoughts on a birthday? Nah. Yesterday, the love and friendship simply overwhelmed and obliterated the shadows and other demons that taunt and haunt everyday.

[A little aside: Perhaps this comes with age, but we all should welcome life’s surprises – the proverbial bends in the road, the boxes of chocolates (imagine finding a Chocnut in the midst of Belgian pralines!), the unknown. How dull and dreary our lives would be if everything has been predetermined for us. One small reminder that I have learned to repeat to myself like as an everyday mantra: “every beginning is a merging of holding on and letting go.” Oh, I’m sorry, I am digressing already.]

Destination still wonderfully unknown. 🙂 



Life continues…

September 10, 2007

A few years ago, back in UP Law, a piece written by Veronica Shoffstall made the rounds of egroups (before Yahoo bought it to become Yahoo Groups). A line that stuck went (and I hope my memory still hasn’t failed me):

“…you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers…”

Thanks to Prof. David and the gracious invitation by the clergy and seminarians from the Immaculate Conception School of Theology, I welcomed the stroke of midnight with cheer – even if I still find myself alone. Read the rest of this entry ?