little thoughts on many subjects

March 8

Last night, 7 March, I decided to post little thoughts on many subjects via my many blogsites. That’s the reason I have so many blogsites anyway — to encourage me to think of so many things all at the same time. I’m trying to show creativity in the Internet itself. Which is also good for a writer like me: no writer’s block. You exercise the mind. I’m also trying to show that anyone can write about many things especially now that you have the Internet, the biggest library of thoughts in the world. The biggest and the brightest. What if the Internet is wrong? You mean, what if the information is wrong? Check it out in the Internet!

April 12

Inspirations. Vic Costes wrote from the blue the other week from Toronto, Canada. We were very young would-be writers in Asingan half a century ago (will we live to be a hundred?) He had been told about me by Annie Castillo Cano who had found me via the Internet (a wonderful invention) while surfing for the words Asingan Pangasinan. Castillo is her father’s name; my mother, her Apong Satur (Sixta) Agapito Hilario (she died 100 years old last year) and her mother Apong Biana (Bibiana) Agapito Castillo (she died long ago, too young to go) were sisters and they lived right across the street to each other a stone’s throw away.

Vic has just written in his blogsite http://journals.aol.ca/mabait42/ASINGANIAN/ that his inspiration for writing was Ms Loreto Blando who became Mrs Mizal. I don’t know what happened to their daughter who was also a writer. If I remember right, I met her long ago in Los Baños and I encouraged her to write. Or is it another daughter of another friend? This one I remember very well: My own inspiration for writing (I had a crush on her too but, being the shy type, I never told anyone about it, not even her) was not from Asingan, not an Ilocana but a Talaga, from Manila, Ms Constancia Cruz. Beautiful, intelligent, fair skin. You know the Ilocanos: poor skin. She conducted a class contest to choose the Tagalog Editor of a would-be newsletter and I won over one or two boys who were native Tagalog speakers (Eleazar, white skins, but I forgot the first name, sorry). The newsletter never came out but a writer came out of it. Because that’s how I ‘discovered myself,’ that’s how I sensed that my talent was in writing. And I vowed to myself to be the best. That was some 50 years ago. And today? I’m writing for the American Chronicle http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewByAuthor.asp?authorID=700 and enjoying every minute of it. I know I have taught myself very well indeed (meaning very hard, since I am a graduate of the University of Hard Knocks). And now I thank the Lord that the computer is here, Microsoft Word is here, and the Internet is here. The Internet has been also an inspiration for me.

Crushes. Aside from Ms Constancia Cruz from Manila, I had a crush on two Salom girls from Bantug: the eldest, who was the Corps Sponsor in 1956-57, and Epay (Epifania). I also liked Gracia Fernandez, but it wasn’t a crush – or did I suppress it because I know they were well-to-do (daughter of a doctor) and we were not? My classmates were teasing me for Belle Neri, but I had absolutely no feelings for her, who was going to be our Valedictorian (Grace was Salututorian and I was 1st (First Honorable Mention). Anyway, I was the shy type and even my crushes didn’t know – or did they? I also had a crush, I forgot her name, who was much older than me and who used to take the caromata from Carusocan Norte to Poblacion and back. She was studying, high school of course. Additional names (16 April): Evelina Tendero (I remember the beautiful face very clearly, why is that?). Purita Palma (good-looking too, but I don’t remember much detail; we were teachers at Asingan High School but I didn’t have the nerve because I was thinking of rich and poor). In case you’re interested, I’m 66 going on 57.

Shy type. Binabai, kunada pay met ngarud, apo. Lallalo nga mabainak met, di awan.
What do you with boys who are too shy? Don’t tell them names — Tell them to grow up!

 

What is the Ilocano for Balikbayan?

Ilisubli, kunak man. Baliktad ti Tagalog. Dakayo ng Ilisubli nga taga-Asingan, ammuenyo nga fiestatayto no dies y ocho ti daytoy nga bulan. It’s time to visit the old place where you grew up, or which you want your children and grandchildren to visit, like and even to love it. Asingan is still a sleepy town, so you have almost all the old values in there, including friendly visits and padigo. Nagimasen!

Roger Daranciang, friend and relative, is the Chair of the Asingan Town Fiesta Executive Committee and I am the Chair of the subcommittee on Documentation. The Vice Chair of the ATFEC is Atty Bong Viray. I don’t remember all the names. From Los Baños, I have been attending the ATFEC meeting. My brother Emilio who lives in Sanchez has been spending for my transportation, so that’s his contribution to the fiesta. I attended about 7 times, which means my brother spent 7K in all just for my fare. My contribution is my ideas.

The ATFEC has plans to spend the money collected, about P1 million net, for the fiesta as needed and as seed money for some needed town projects that will give chances to people for self-employment, the ultimate goal being self-sufficiency. By the way, the members of the ATFEC do not receive any honorarium for their membership. But if we do it right this time, never mind the arium, but we won’t be denied honor, would we?

Share your CDs and books!

Vic Costes in Toronto has just given me an idea: You there outside the Philippines, your kailians in/from Asingan who are not well-to-do would appreciate your gifts of books, CDs and DVDs even if you send them over here by snail mail. Look at it this way: When you give away, you have a good reason to buy new ones. The public library in Asingan is not that well-stocked. I think the library of Rizal Junior College in the mid-1950s, from where I used to borrow and bring home 5 or 6 books to read the weekends and return the next Monday, had more books than the current collection in the public library.

Donate is the idea. Let it be from the bottom of your heart, or the bottom of your pockets, whichever comes last. You may ask: Which book, which CD, which DVD? My answer: Don’t ask, just donate. Look at it this way: You are getting rid, and very nicely at that, what you don’t like or don’t need. Then I am sure you will be rewarded with a good feeling. Then I hope you will graduate to giving away even those you like yourself – that would be sharing, a great thing to do.

On my part, I already donated one copy of my book, my first: indios bravos! Jose Rizal as Messiah of the Redemption. It’s actually a book written around my own English translation of the farewell poem of Rizal, which I have retitled ‘Adios, Patria Adorada’ (not Mi Ultimo Adios) and translated into ‘Adios, Beloved Patria.’ That book is historical – it’s the first from somebody in Asingan, the first on Rizal; it contains the first English translation of Rizal’s final poem by an Ilocano, also from Asingan; it’s an intellectual biography too, the first in the Philippines. You can read excerpts by clicking the link Adios! Beloved! Patria below.

And that gives me another idea: If you can donate one dollar or two, each one of you, then I can print more copies of my book (US$10 a copy) for distribution free to our townmates before, during or after the fiesta on 18-23 April.

If you are from Asingan and are not a writer, that’s no problem. You can tell us Stories from the heart. If you have stories to tell, tell me. Write to me the details and then I will write it up and I will send you a copy and I will share it here. Photographs? I have to study how to insert photographs yet.

In any case, you don’t have to be writers to write. All we want to happen is the sharing of stories, recalling the past, remembering friends and some silliness, and thanking God we’re still alive, those of us who are 60 and above (I’m 66).

 

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