Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Hidden Treasure

It was a remarkable Thursday afternoon; I skipped my weekly routine of visiting the Elizabeth Shopping Centre because of the scheduled activity in the poultry farm by nightfall.

For a change, I opted not to stay inside my caravan and wait until after sunset so I took the farm ute and drove off to Port Wakefield to enjoy the rest of the afternoon outdoor.

I chose a spot along the Wakefield River; it’s a picnic point towards the north-western side of the town, around 250 meters from the roadhouse strip. I had driven by this area many times before but didn’t really dare to stop and stay like what I did last Thursday.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What a peaceful place! There’s nobody here except me and this middle-aged moustached man in the other side of the riverbank who’s tidying his SUV under the shade of the pines. Luckily, there are flocks of seagulls resting on the sand and some are perching on the wooden fences whose casual squawks perfectly blend with the clatter of the lush pine and palm leaves blown by the mild, late afternoon wind.

Port Wakefield is one of Australia's most important sites for migratory birds! -About Australia

It’s late summer but the breeze is relatively cool, as if reminding me of the coming of the colourful autumn in the next four days.

The river has been flowing smoothly yet its surface distinctively ripples every time the south-easterly wind sets a powerful puff. From the wooden bench where I’m sitting right now, the water appears to be boasting of its bluish dye, when in fact it is only a generous reflection of the mostly clear sky.

The wooden bench.

A streak of cirrus cloud has been selfishly
depriving the river of its faintest image, forcing me to gaze up above thus allowing my eyes to capture the rapidly soaring jet across the big dome as it leaves a thin strip of visible gas that gently dissipates in the air.

The Wakefield River.

Two cars have passed by the road nearby—one with a learner-driver’s plate and the other with four panting dogs inside but the drivers of both vehicles never decided to hit the brake and get off the vehicle to experience the serenity of this place... they just wound their windscreen down, had a glimpse, and off they’re gone! I'm sure they were locals but, like those weekend tourists who just drive through the highway and only stop at the fuel station if they need to fill both their tank and stomach full, they were strangers in the neighbourhood! Never did they know that this frequently ignored site has its own unconcealed beauty waiting to be discovered!

Sunset at the Wakefield River...

The sun is now hiding behind the sparsely painted clouds as its lowest brim touches the tip of the Yorke Peninsula hills in the west. Simultaneously, the previously azure sky is gradually transforming into a grey canvas with an abstract artwork of gold and deep orange colours! The vegetations and the birds are now silhouetting against the remaining glow of the day...


This magnificent scenery would have been lovelier if the clouds are thicker and if a beautiful maiden will come and cross the wooden bridge reclining in the distance. How I wish... but just before my vulnerable mind totally succumb to these early evening illusions I was averted by the mouth-watering aroma of a sizzling steak diffusing from the neighbouring hotel.

Built 1856 as Rising Sun Inn, renamed as The Rising Sun Hotel in 1859.

The moustached man had packed-up and left, probably to have his evening tea and a mug of ice-cold West End Draught in the adjacent tavern.

T-bone steak with mushroom-black pepper gravy and mashed potato
of the Rising Sun Hotel

Finally, the great ball of fire is now invisible across the western horizon and the once golden firmament has turned greyish and purplish-red... it’s now time for me to leave and go back to the poultry farm to shut the blinds off... and I guess it’s now time to end this lengthy log for the day.

The roadhouse strip by night; Port Wakefield, South Australia.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Four hundred ninety

70 x 7 =?

A simple mathematical equation that reminds me of how many times I have to forgive somebody whom I perceived has done something wrong against me. But honestly, doing it in real life is quite difficult because forgiving isn’t as easy as solving that simple arithmetic problem presented above.

Nobody is holy; I’ve even inherited a sin from our fore parents which means I have had it since the time I was conceived. With this, I feel guilty to be uncompassionate to someone who’s admitting his or her own fault and, to deny my pardon to an apologetic offender, especially if it is done publicly.

Thru a phone call, the power of my ballot was stolen in the May 2004 presidential election, but the equation above simply implies that the theft still has another 489 chances for me to be patient and for her to be forgiven. (More stories here.)

The past Australian parliament had once decided to seize the children of the natives thereby depriving them of growing up with their own culture, but the federal and state governments can still enjoy the remaining 489 times of exoneration. (More stories here.)

Countless men and women have been sexually assaulted by some members of the clergy, yet undeniably, the church possesses and at the same time teaches that we should grant our brethren the limitless opportunity of absolution. (More stories here.)

A world-renowned golfer has committed adultery and admitted his sexual relationships to more than a dozen women; luckily he still has more than 39 dozens of opportunity to be understood by his family, friends and fans. (More stories here.)

The British 'child migration scheme' in the 1920's-1960's sent an estimated number of 150,000 children to Australia without the consent of their parents thereby painfully tearing those families apart... but the kingdom still has 489 chances to make up with each of these victims. (More stories here.)

Assessing the sincerity of the remorse as the transgressor expresses an apology is very subjective, most especially to the one who has been offended because of the complexities of the prejudices involved. Objectively, when the offender refrain from doing the same mistake for a lifetime, only then can one conclude that he has genuinely repented. But in the case of ‘addiction’ of any immoral, illegal or anti-religious acts, genuine repentance is more likely unachievable!

But then again, I should not judge; I should not condemn. I should love my neighbours; I should love my enemies. I should forgive so I shall be forgiven. It is worthwhile to note here that according to the University of Wisconsin, happier and healthier people are those who forgive. (More...)

Lucky are those who are forgiven, they have all the opportunity to be happy and be healthy, as well. They are being freed from all the horrifying punishments and restitution entailed because of their shortcomings.

Forgiving a person who's asking an apology isn't the end of the story. The question if they have forgiven themselves of the guilt they've inflicted in their own heart and mind after committing a mistake as well as the shame of doing a public apology (if needed) and, above all, if they have asked for and received the divine forgiveness that they surely need are now beyond my control. Of course, I am a sinner, and I know that I also need the same.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Political 'Affairs'

I really would like to submit myself into an elective surgery; I wanted my occipitofrontalis muscle be severed so I could stop raising my eyebrows!

There's something about the modern Philippine politics that I simply hate the most- when leaders of various religious organizations deliberately choose to appear old-fashioned by entertaining the ‘serenade’ and ‘go dating’ with the national electoral candidates. Or shall I put it this way: ...when these candidates are desperately doing a ‘serenade’ and going out with these ministers for a ‘date’.

I, obviously, don’t know if who among them is enjoying this kind of affair, the electoral candidate who ran after the religious minister or the minister being persuaded by the soon-to-be a national leader.

...just can’t believe that gaining and giving a support for one's candidacy is as difficult and embarrassing as that. For me, yes. But perhaps, for these candidates who desire to earn millions of votes in the much-awaited May 2010 election, courting an influential religious leader may be much easier than visiting every household in the 41,995 barangays throughout the Philippines.

This type of political campaign is undoubtedly like courting an intended spouse amidst a number of equally competent rivals! And with these preachers openly saying to reveal their decisions, if to whom they are giving their support, in the next or after a couple of month, it would surely drive the ‘dandies’ to intensify their flattery so they could savour the heavenly flavour/favour they’re craving for—the powerful votes.

Courtship is an art; I believe nobody would dare to disagree. Undeniably, special gifts such as stuffed toys, delicious chocolates, expensive flowers, as well as sugar-coated words are all part of the craft. The finest presents and the most excellent promises that could gratify these ministers, of course their suitors know best.

I am not questioning the religious leaders’ ability to assess a potential and to choose a good candidate to vote, nor am I taking away their right of suffrage. With their credibility, well...

It seems that I am going too far, far away from what I wanted to point out in this post- that when somebody decides whom to vote there are only two possible outcomes—a right choice or a wrong choice. And in the case of these great and most ‘sought after’ religious ministers, millions of votes are at stake! Of course I haven’t forgotten that the Holy Spirit is ____ there to guide them, hopefully at all times and NOT just always.

The question on why the followers of these religious organizations behave like water buffaloes with a nose-string is another lengthy story.

Now back to dating and courtship... I know you know what’s next—engagement and marriage. In the Philippine political affairs, I am giving all the benefits of the doubt regarding ‘engagements after the election’.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ang Medisina ng Pag-ibig

Ang 'pag-ibig' ay isang talamak (chronic) at napaka-kumplikadong karamdaman ng buong katawang (systemic) tumatama sa lahat ng tao sa buong mundo (pandemic). Ang sakit na ito'y mas nauna pang natuklasan kaysa sa ketong, black plague at pagkabulok ng ngipin, ngunit ang sanhi at mga paliwanag tungkol sa sakit na pag-ibig ay pilit pa ring tinutuklas ng mga dalubhasa hanggang ngayon. Kaya sa kasalukuyan, mas angkop pa rin itong tawaging isang syndrome.

May mga teyoryang ang pag-ibig ay tumatama rin sa mga hayop pero hanggang ngayon ito'y hindi pa rin lubusang naunawaan o maipaliwanag.

Tulad ng nabanggit na sa itaas, hinding-hindi pa rin natuklasan ang tunay na sanhi ng sakit na ito. Datapwat kapansin-pansing kapag ito'y tumama, sa isang kaso'y palaging dalawang tao ang tinatamaan, maaaring maging mas kumplikado kapag tatlo, at 'di malayong mangyaring apat ang apektado!

Sinasabing ang 'pag-ibig' ay may direktang kaugnayan sa puso, utak o sa mga bahaging pangkasarian subalit kahit na ang mga ito'y idinaan na sa mga mabusising pagsusuri walang nakuha o nakitang mikrobyo sa mga bahagi ng katawang ito na maaaring sabihing siyang pinakadahilan ng- at maiuugnay sa karamdamang 'pag-ibig'.

May mga pag-aaral nga lang na nagsasabing tumataas ang antas ng dopamine sa dugo ng tao kapag siya'y may sakit na 'pag-ibig'. Ang kemikal na ito ang siyang nagbibigay ng lubos na kasiyahang-loob at pagpupursige sa mga taong apektado ng pag-ibig.

Nagsisimula ang karamdamang ito kapag ang isang tao, babae man o lalake ay natamaan ng isang 'kathang-isip na palaso' sa dibdib na nagiging sanhi ng malalim na sugat; at kapag natusok na nito ang puso, ang mga bahagi ng utak ay agarang maglalabas mga kemikal na pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, oxytocin at serotonin na may epektong tulad ng sa mga amphetamines. Kaya ang taong natamaan ng matulis at matalim na pana ni Kupido ay makakaramdam ng kakaibang kaligayahan at aliw- ang masama pa, ito'y nakaka-adik!

Ang mga nabanggit na kemikal ay may mga side effects tulad ng mabilis na pagtibok ng puso (tachycardia), kawalan ng ganang kumain (anorexia) at nahihirapang makatulog (insomnia), at 'di maipapaliwanag na sigla ng buong katawan.

Nang dahil sa tachycardia na madalas nararamdaman kapag nakikita ang taong iniibig, nagiging mas kakaunti ang dumadaloy na dugo sa buong katawan pati na rin sa puso, kaya maaaring magkaroon ng pananakit ng dibdib, panandaliang pamumutla at panlalamig ng mga palad pati ng mga talampakan. Pagkatapos nito ay bigla namang magkakaroon ng pamumula ng pisngi (blushing o hyperemia).

Kahit na ang matulis at matalim na 'palaso' ang siyang naging simula ng karamdamang ito, walang makikitang anumang lesion (mga sirang tissues o bahagi ng katawang nakikita nang dahil sa karamdaman o sakit), walang sugat o impeksiyon sa katawan...

Subalit kapansin-pansing kapag nawawala na ang 'pag-ibig' sa puso o utak ng dalawang taong apektado, maaaring magkakaroon ng 'di-mapigilang pagmumuta dahil sa matinding pagluha (lacrimation) ng mga mata; at kadalasan sa mga kasong ito makakakita ng mga sugat at mga pasa sa katawan ng mga biktima lalung-lalo na sa kanilang mukha.

Sa mga taong naging apektado ng 'pag-ibig' hanggang sa mga bahaging pangkasarian, nagkakaroon ng mga maliliit na pasa sa leeg o kahit saang bahagi ng katawan, at maaaring magkaroon ng pilas o wahi at kaunting pagdurugo lalung-lao na sa ari ng mga kababaihan.

Hindi masyadong nauunawaan kung paano naisasalin ang 'pag-ibig' mula sa isang taong apektado papunta sa mga hindi pa apektado ngunit ang matamis na mga salita, natatanging kalinga, pagreregalo (ng mga rosas at tsokolate), at paghahawak-kamay ay ang ilan sa mga posibleng paraan ng pagkakahawa ng nasabing 'sakit'.

Pinagdududahang ang pagkikipaghalikan ay isa rin sa mga mode of transmissions ng 'pag-ibig', subalit ito nama'y madalas na nangyayari kapag nagkahawaan na kaya iniisip ng mga dalubhasa na ang pakikipaghalikan ay makapagpapalala ng karamdamang ito.

Hindi man lubusang naipaliwanag ang pagkalat ng sakit na 'to, ang 'pag-ibig' ay laganap na sa buong mundo (pandemic) bago pa man nagsimula ang kasaysayan. Subalit sa kasalukyan, walang ganitong uri ng karamdaman sa mga bansang Iraq at Afghanistan, pati sa mga bahagi ng West Bank hanggang Gaza Strip sa Israel, at sa Pakistan.

Napag-alamang habang papatapos ang panahon ng taglamig sa mga bansang nasa hilagang bahagi ng daigdig at sa huling buwan ng tag-init sa katimugan- o tuwing Pebrero, tumataas ang kaso ng karamdamang ito.

Nakikitang ang mga taong nagkakaedad mula sampu o labindalawang taong gulang (puberty) hanggang sa mga matatanda ay mataas ang tsansang magkakaroon ng 'pag-ibig'. Ito'y pangkalahatan kung tumama sa mga nilikha, marami ang nagkakasakit (very high morbidity) ngunit kakaunti lamang ang namamatay (very low mortality).

Binabase ito sa mga nakikitang palatandaan at sintomang nabanggit na sa itaas. Hindi u-obra ang biopsy o autopsy; mas lalong walang magagawa ang complete blood count sa pag-alam kung apektdo ang isang nilalang ng sakit na ito (pag-ibig).

Maaaring gumamit ng ECG, ngunit walang halaga ang x-ray. Sa kasalukuyan, ginagamit ang MRI o magnetic resonance imaging upang pag-aralan ang mga bahagi ng utak na apektado kapag ang tao'y nakakaramdam ng pag-ibig.

Napakahirap kontrolin ng pag-ibig!

Ang pagsasabon at paghuhugas ng kamay o di kaya'y pagmumumog ng mouth wash bago mag-holding hands o maghalikan ay siguradong walang bisa kung nais ay iwasan ang pagkalat ng 'pag-ibig'.

Maaaring uminom ng gamot na pampatulog at kumain kasabay ang taong iniibig upang maganahang kumain.

Hindi na kailangang gumamit ng Benzodiazepine/calcium channel blocker na Diltiazem, o di kaya'y Atenolol o anumang uri ng beta-blocking agents kung nais na maibalik sa normal ang mabilis na pagtibok ng puso (tachycardia) sapagkat ito'y kusa at paunti-unti namang mawawala...

Talagang kamangha-mangha, ngunit totoo- ang pinakamabisang panlunas sa 'pag-ibig' ay pag-ibig din mismo.

If you like this article, try to read this: Monetary Pharmacology

Personal Experience


Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Heart of the World

The City Cross
Rundle Mall, Adelaide City, S.A.

Eight days from now, the world will be filled with countless heart-shaped sketches and objects... will be painted with exaggerated red colours... will be covered with legions of rose buds and petals... and will be sweetened with tons of confectioneries...

...but I haven’t written my article about love, yet! I couldn't find ways to gather the exact letters and words to highlight the upcoming celebration. Honestly, I have started to fear that I don’t have a heart inside my chest; I may have one but possibly, it’s just a hollow muscular organ that rhythmically contracts to pump blood to my body.

I don’t mean to write another gloomy post this time so please stop wrinkling the skin on your forehead and start feeling the beat your heart. Is it beating?

Now, kindly take a look at the world news headlines I’ve got from Yahoo while I was writing this post (05Feb.2010, 10:50pm):

Jesus’ message is very short and clear, “Love one another...*” And I believe Mohammed has said so.

*John 13:34


Monday, February 1, 2010


Kung kaninang umaga'y matiyaga niyang hinintay ang pagbubukang-liwayway mula sa bintana ng kanyang tirahan, ngayon nama'y nandito siya sa Liwasang Elder sa pampang ng Ilog Torrens ng Adelaide... nilalasap ang mga nalalabing panahon ng panandaliang kalayaan, at inaabangan ang paglubog ng bolang apoy doon sa kanluran.

Unti-unti nang nagiging banayad ang sinag ng araw, ngunit ayaw pa rin niyang tumayo at maglakad-lakad... Mas pinili niyang umupo sa lilim ng malaking puno katabi ang isang pulutong ng mga seagulls. Nararamdaman niyang tagos sa kanyang suot na 503 ang tusok ng matulis na dahon ng mga damo sa kanyang mga hita't binti. Marahang umihip at animo'y nangangagat sa kanyang pisngi ang maligamgam na simoy mula sa hilaga kaya siya'y napahanga sa malawak na damuhan sapagkat makalipas ang dalawang buwang tag-init ito'y nananatiling luntian.

Mula sa kanyang kinauupuan ay natatanaw n'ya ang mga malalaking itim na tagak at ang kawan ng mga itik na lumalangoy ng pasalungat sa agos ng ilog. Sa tabi ng nakadaong na bangka ay may isang pelicang matapos sandukin ng kanyang tuka ang, sa tingin niya'y, maliliit na isda mula sa tubig ay biglang lumipad palayong tila umiwas mula sa lente ng kanyang Power Shot A430.

...bigla niyang naitanong sa kanyang sarili kung bakit patuloy na dumadami ang mga ibong mailap sa pook na 'to, at kung saan kaya sila kumukuha ng sapat na ikabubuhay sa gitna ng maingay na lunsod gayong mahigpit namang ipinagbabawal sa mga namamasyal ang pagbibigay sa mga ito ng anumang makakain.

May mga taong nagbibisekleta, at mayroon ding naglalakad ng magkahawak-kamay sa sementadong pampang... At sa di kalayuan ay may mag-anak, na sa tingin niya'y tubong-Adelaide, na masayang nilalaro ang kanilang bunso habang paisa-isa at sama-samang pumupuwesto sa magarang gazebo para maglitratuhan.

Sa parkeng ito, nakatutuwang pagmasdan ang mga nagsasaya at ang mga dumadaan! Naisip niya tuloy kung tulad niya, sila'y nandito rin upang panandaliang makawala sa kani-kanilang mga hawla at pilit kinakalimutan ang mga hamon ng mundo habang nililibang ang sarili sa kaaya-ayang kapaligiran... kung sila'y nandito dala ang pag-asang matatagpuan ang inaasam na kaligayahan... o kung sila'y nandito upang siya'y imulat na ang buhay ay likas na puno ng kasiyahan at mga kagandahan.

Tulad ng kanyang Australian working visa na mawawalan na ng bisa 305 araw mula ngayon, malapit na ang takip-silim... Sa paglubog ng araw siguradong susunod ang karimlan... ang kadiliman ng kawalang-katiyakan.

Elder Park gazebo by night.
Adelaide, South Australia