Skip to main content

Out of the Blue

This morning at a meeting in Star Cafe on post-calamity early recovery with a Benguet municipal mayor, a UNDP documentation and community journalism maven, and some people who expertly flow back and forth across the bounds of governance and civil society, somebody passed me a book of love poems.

Feigning absorption in the discussion on disaster risk reduction I held the book under the table and opened it to a random page.


Our oneness is the wrestlers', fierce and close,
       Thrusting and thrust;
One life in dual effort for one prize, --
       We fight, and must;
For soul with soul does battle evermore
       Till love be trust.

Our distance is love's severance; sense divides,
       Each is but each;
Never the very hidden spirit of thee
       My life doth reach;
Twain! since love athwart the gulf that needs
       Kisses and speech.

Ah! wrestle closelier! we draw nearer so
       Than any bliss
Can bring twain souls who would be whole and one,
       Too near to kiss:
To be one thought, one voice before we die, --
       Wrestle for this.

                      -- Louisa S. Bevington (1845 - ?)

With one ear still tuned in to the meeting, I thought to myself, Yup, that's the essence of community work right there. Love. And Wrestling.

It's been a year since Ketsana/Ondoy and Parma/Pepeng. Where are we at now?


Popular posts from this blog

Lola of Maipon

It's all too easy to fall asleep under the blanket of everyday life and to smother dreams with the mundane things I surround myself with. But once in a while, along comes a sparkling vision that jolts me out of my daily sleep and reminds me of the existence of convictions and worlds so different from my own. "Our beloved LOLA of Guinubatan, Maipon, Albay is the last true messenger of God. So, let us follow her holy teachings so that we will gain TRUE SALVATION without sufferings and without death." In another story I, the intrepid heroine, the adventurer seduced by mysteries, the pilgrim in search of truth, would follow them back to Guinubatan from Session Road, thirsting to see and hear their Lola for myself. However, it's all too easy -- much safer! -- to fall back asleep under the blanket of everyday life, and to smother dreams with the mundane things I surround myself with. Then along comes 9 a.m., and really, it's time to down the dregs of coffee at the bott

Cordillera Folktales and Story-telling

It was cold and wet outside on the day of the launching of The Golden Arrow of Mt. Makilkilang and other Cordillera Folktales . But inside Mt. Cloud Bookshop we were warmed by stories read and performed by the Aanak di Kabiligan community theater group. Storytelling on a stormy afternoon. Paco Paco. A Benguet story from the book, published by the Cordillera Green Network. Aanak di Kabiligan means children of the mountains. The theater group was born out of the Cordillera Green Network's eleven years of conducting workshops in which children transform their grandparents' stories into theater productions. Here they perform the title story of the Golden Arrow of Mt. Makilkilang and Other Cordillera Folktales.

Birds of Baguio and Benguet

The Little Boss and I went to see the Birds of Baguio and Benguet Photo Exhibit at the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary . I carried her so she could see them up close and she pointed to each and every photo demanding, "What's that? What about that? What about this one?" I dutifully read out the name of every single bird featured in the exhibit: Scale-feathered Malkoha, Luzon Sunbird, Citrine Canary Flycatcher, and so on.We discussed the colors of their feathers and the shapes of their beaks. Some of the birds were already familiar to her. The crow and the shrike are frequent visitors in our garden. Shrike in the hands of the Artist-in-Residence, with the Little Boss' first hesitant touch. Taken October 2013. Once a young shrike in flight crashed into our picture window and lay on the ground, stunned. The Little Boss and the Artist-in-Residence held it lovingly in their hands and as soon as it pushed against their palms they gently released it. That was The Littl