I watch my grandmother
As she patiently winnows the grains
Moving the winnowing basket
Up, down; up down
Tossing its content into the air.
I see the chaffs being blown away
Leaving behind the grains.
Then, when there are no more chaffs left,
She stops, but she’s not yet done.
She spreads the grains out thinly on the flat basket
And looks for pebbles that might have
Been mixed with the grains.
She picks the pebbles and throws them away.
I stare at her hands, rough from hard labor;
Amazed at how patiently she works.
Then I begin to realize, life’s like that —
A continuous process of winnowing;
Of separating the grains from the chaffs.
Only that sometimes, we throw away
The grains; not the pebbles, not the chaffs.
[And then we spend the rest of our lives
Staring at the empty husks of our choices
Wondering where the grains went,
Chasing after them, and not seeing them
Amidst the mountains of chaffs
With which we have surrounded ourselves.]
Posted in anecdote, Family & Relationships, Love, Poetry and Verses, Spiritual | Tagged anecdotal poetry, anecdote, childhood, childhood memories, english poetry by a filipina, english poetry by an ilocana, free verse, inspiring poetry, Life, Life lessons, poem, poem about a grandmother, poem for a grandmother, poet, poetic form, poetic lines, poetic prose, Poetry, poetry by brainteaser, poignant poem, prose poetry, reflection, rhyme, sherma benosa, sherma's poetry, spiritual poetry, truth, verse, Verses, witty line | Leave a Comment »
A piece of the puzzle fits; understanding finally dawns. “Kaya pala…”
Someone sheds light on an issue, and finally we get a glimpse of the other aspects of things which we couldn’t see before. “Kaya pala…”
Kaya pala. Such a lovely phrase. It speaks of enlightenment, of finally seeing that which remained obscure for sometime.
It is also a phrase of admission, that before, there were things that we couldn’t see, which now, thankfully, we see rather clearly.
Kaya pala. How many times have I exclaimed it? Countless already. But every time I am gifted with the chance to exclaim it, I am always awed at the wonder of it.
I say kaya pala and I wonder…
Posted in Life, Love, MuZings, point of view, Spiritual | Tagged blabbering, dawn of understanding, filipino psyche, idea, ideas, inspiration, inspirational, inspiring, kaya pala, Life, motivation, motivational, musing, musings, opinion, personal, personal development, personal philosophy, psychological, random, random thought, reflection, Reflections, rumination, self-development, self-growth, serendipity, Spiritual, thought, thoughts, understanding, witty lines | Leave a Comment »
Today is the Fall of Bataan, and tomorrow is the 67th anniversary of the start of the tragic Death March.
During the past weeks, I spent some time reading several books on the defense of Bataan and Corregidor during the Second World War for my articles for Manila Times (Bataan Rising) and, God, it was very difficult to stop the tears rolling down my cheeks.
Friends, let us all bow down our heads and pray for the heroes of Bataan, and thank them for fiercely defending our freedom.
To our war veterans — living and dead — our great salute to you, Sirs/Madams. And to everyone who suffered from the Japanese atrocity, please know that I share your pain.
As a Bataan Day special, please let me lead you to my article on Bataan. It’s posted on my main website because I couldn’t seem to arrange the pictures properly here. Please click HERE. //Photo by Sherma E. Benosa
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged arts, Bataan, dambana ng kagitingan, death march, fall of Bataan, historical marker, historical site, history, philippine history, Shrine of Valor, world war 2 in the pacific, World War II | 1 Comment »
Today, I read an article that made my blood boil: an opinion piece by a Chinese “journalist” named Chip Tsao published in HK Magazine. Here’s the article plus my comments in italics.
The War at Home
By Chip Tsao
The Russians sank a Hong Kong freighter last month, killing the seven Chinese seamen onboard. We can live with that—Lenin and Stalin were once the ideological mentors of all Chinese people. The Japanese planted a flag on Diàoyú Island. That’s no big problem—we Hong Kong Chinese love Japanese cartoons, Hello Kitty, and shopping in Shinjuku, let alone our round-the-clock obsession with karaoke. [Is it just me, or is there really a big flaw in his reasoning?]
But hold on—even the Filipinos? Manila has just claimed sovereignty over the scattered rocks in the South China Sea called the Spratly Islands, complete with a blatant threat from its congress to send gunboats to the South China Sea to defend the islands from China if necessary. This is beyond reproach. The reason: There are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as US$3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong. As a nation of servants, you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter. [Yes, indeed, there is something wrong with his reasoning. Any high school (or even younger student) who knows a bit of logic can see breakdowns of reason in his sentences. Tsk! But I won't discuss his logical fallacies anymore. I'd focus on some of his factual errors. US$3,580 a month for a maid in Hong Kong? He better check his figures. They pay our kababayans much less, just about US$300-350 a month! And no, we are not a nation of servants. We do have degree holders who need to go overseas to find employment, even as domestic helpers, but not everyone in the country and even those who are working overseas are servants. We have lawyers, engineers, and other professionals as well. Besides, what's wrong with being a domestic helper, may I ask? At least, our maids can make logical statements and sound reasoning. Also, are the employers still called masters in this age? I thought the master-servant relationship no longer exists. Isn't it already an employee-employer relationship in the modern world?]
Posted in Life, point of view | Tagged bigotry, china, chip tsao, filipinos, foreign affairs, international relations, journalism, Life, musings, OFW, opinion, Philippines, pinoy, Politics, racism, reaction, rebuttal, sovereignty, spratlys island, thought | 4 Comments »
We put on many things that we often end up confusing these things as us.
Sometimes, it’s hard to separate our diplomas, positions, titles properties, stocks, and so on from us — that often, we fear being stripped of them, because having mistakenly equated our self-worth with our possessions and titles, we fear we would be nothing without them.
But while these are among the things that make up who we are, they are not just what we are.
The positions we hold can buy us semblance of respect — the kind that are afforded to the title, not necessarily the person who holds it. Our money can buy us those sorts of friends that scamper away as soon as we are broke. Our stocks and diplomas can give us some kind of security — one that could crumble the moment the tides start turning against us. But they can never buy us honest-to-goodness peace and happiness. They can only sow upon us discontent. And distrust.
If these are the only things with which we have clothed ourselves, then we have every reason to fear being stripped of them, because without them, we would be naked.
But the thing is, it is only after we undergo some stripping that we realize that these things we have sought to clothe ourselves with do not really matter — not in a way that what’s inside each of us matters.
Posted in anecdote, Life, Love, MuZings, point of view, Spiritual | Tagged career, essay by an ilocana, Filipina, happiness, ilocana, inspiration, inspirational, inspiring, Life, motivational, opinion, personal, philosophical, philosophy, point of view, random, realization, reflection, rumination, self-development, self-esteem, self-growth, self-worth, trust | Leave a Comment »