Category Archives: inspiration

If only…

“Why didn’t you say this to me when I was alive?” says Hanna Baker in the TV series, Thirteen Reasons Why. [#ThatHannahBakerLine. a screenshot of the scene is found below. Credits to the Owner]

If only we were true and brave enough to tell those we’ve lost that they matter to us long before they’re gone, then we could have probably saved a heart from being broken, a life from being shattered…

But not all that we’ve lost are gone. Somewhere, someone is in the limbo desperately wanting for reasons why some bridges are burnt, why feelings have come to end too soon, why things transpired the way we least expect them to be… and what drives people to feel us neglected, rejected and unloved… and so many more questions about truths we’re even afraid to confront, sometimes. 

And, it’s never too late.

It’s never too late to tell people they’re special to us… it’s never too late to let someone know we care for them, that we’re sorry for making them feel bad about themselves, that we’re more than willing to make things up… to start anew, to love deeper and build more wonderful memories together. 

It’s even never too late to put closure to whatever that is dragging you down. It’s never too late for acceptance, for allowing yourself to put a halt on relying too much on false hopes, and for mustering courage to rise up from that awful fall and eventually move on.

The time for everything is always now… After all, life is too short to be wasted to “if only”.

Here is a farewell to a no stranger at all!

We surely had a share of personal accounts on meeting people who would eventually make impact on our lives. 

Stories of strangers whose relationships blossomed into friendships and vice versa have never been a rarity. There is always a room for endless tales of how people, and yes – strangers, have significantly made us feel better about ourselves.

While at the beautiful Parola beach for a family outing yesterday, my Mama Badang sent me an sms asking me whether the news about someone has reached me. The follow up text disheartened me: “She is now wid d Lord. (sic)”

Ms. Lilian Bellen is now reunited with the Creator. 

My connection with Ma’am Lilian commenced when she sent me this remark at the messenger, saying:

Hi, this is Lilian.  What do you prefer I call you?  Chanced upon your blog and was blown away.  It is fantastic… Am I the only one who does not know about your blog?  Thanks. 

For a no serious blogger whose only goal is to write on one’s personal views and sentiments and create an online repository for my penchant for Bicol oral traditions, her message is an affirmation that maybe, just maybe, I was doing right.

Receiving comments from readers is always an engaging and thrilling experience. A feed to the blogger’s ego, one might say. But a compliment from Ms. Lilian Bellen is both an honor and a privilege.

This lady is never an ordinary random Facebook friend who would send you pm on sundry of stuff from chain messages to “please like this” thing! I have known her in an FB group whose goal is to create an avenue for civic-minded people to discuss plans and concrete schemes in improving the lives of Magalleños. Her posts and updates have always been about believing in people and their potential of making our town… and this country a better one for the generation to come. Her optimism is always dynamic and has transcended beyond mere words and social media statuses. 

Her love for Magallanes and her kahimanwas has always been constant. Her social media updates, especially those posted in the group, revealed her vision and aspirations for a better Magallanes. One appeal I recall with feeling of regret for having done nothing is this message she sent me.

Hi, Alfred, I posted this to the Pro Mag page.  Would you help us, please.  Thanks. APPEAL: LET US HONOR THE OUTSTANDING MEN AND WOMEN OF MAGALLANES. . . and OUTSTANDINGSCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PAPERS

Pro Mag would like to appeal to members to  enrich the content of this page with posts about (1)  the outstanding men and women of Magallanes, the unsung heroes ,   the cheerful provider of services , the gifted “langgang specialist,” etc.; and (2) scientific  researches/projects.   

We understand that there is an annual or periodic award to Outstanding Women of Magallanes.  We hope  someone will take the initiative to write up or summarize the citation for each awardee.  Many members do not know the debt of gratitude we owe these women so publishing their citation would show our appreciation and introduce them to the unaware.

We also hope that researches about innovative or more efficient use of our resources could be posted.  There may be readers  who  will see the investment possibilities in those researches.  Sayang tabi an opportunidad.  Let us not underestimate the potential of such researches, e.g., deboning bangus may be simple, but  a good commercial enhancer.    There will be no patent or  copyright infringement if disclosures are on general terms. 

Salamatononon tabi.

(Sent: May 9, 2014; 11:54 AM)

She celebrates Magalleños’ stories of success and echoed the same in the social media so that we’d be more aware and appreciative of our potentials and strength as a people. She always reserves a slot for making us feel good and proud about who we are as Magalleños in her social media space… and I love her for that.

For that, I have realized she’s no stranger at all. She’s one of us by will and heart.

Our online connection continued as she considered my school assignment as beneficiaries of a good number of books and encyclopedia she altruistically solicited and donated for our school library.  It happened not just once. In fact, our last conversation on April 18 this year, is rooted from the same cause. (She’d be again sending books and encyclopedia  for Bagatao which we respectfully turned down since we’ve just got a new set of donation from Mr. & Mrs. Jinky Bailon).

To our students, Ms. Lilian Bellen is the anonymous book donor. But her generosity never gets unnoticed. Her love for learning and her vision of uplifting the lives of our people through education will surely go a long way and eventually bear fruit. And for that I thank her again. And yes, I love her for that…

But this blog post, who is not even fit to be a eulogy to a wonderful creation – that is Lilian Bellen, is something that is very personal.

By the way, did I say our connection began when she sent me a pm in 2013? I was awfully wrong. Here is why.

Thanks to Ma’am Ruby Cabug for disclosing this supposedly confidential fact: Ma’am Lilian was my benefactor in Carracal Memorial Academy since I transferred in as a second year high school student on June 1997. I’ve learned I was randomly selected as her scholar.

Allow me to share  screenshots of one very personal conversation I had with my dear Mam Lilian as I expressed my gratitude to her… as I told her how her act of selflessness has made me a grateful person that I am now and how it has changed me… and the lives of the people around me. 

I am blessed to have an opportunity of telling her how I am thankful for her help. My life is eternally blessed to be touched by a no stranger who is Ma’am Lilian. 

Rest now, dear stranger who has become an angel to me and to many others… It is time be home where you truly belongs – heaven!

Again, thank you. Until we finally meet.

Muslims are not terrorists!

This inspiring Twitter post has gone viral when @alexmalloyy decided to share his disheartening yet positively inspiring experience with a Muslim cab driver.

Then, I remember a good friend giving an impromptu speech  at a national training in Baguio City regarding her sentiments about  the aftermath of Mamasapano carnage several months ago.

Below is a transcript of her short yet powerful speech.



Muslims are not terrorists, if they are, then they are not Muslims. I am a Muslim, alhamdulillah! But as u can see, just for this moment, I removed my hijab particularly my head cover to let u know that we are the same. Yes,we are not different. Why am I saying these, because I want you to realize how unfair, how biased most of the people are to muslim/moslems like me.

When we say Muslims,they are the ones who fearfully follow our Almighty God, Allah swt. And one of his commandments is not to kill. So, we Muslims do not kill simply because its a sin. Is it right, Christians? Nobody has the right to take one’s life- only Allah swt, our God.

So I appeal to you my fellow teachers, please help me clear the minds that have been clouded by the influence of media, by those who continue to promote war. We are definitely against war. We Muslims don’t kill, well perhaps we are just forced to defend ourselves, to fight for our rights which I am sure you would do too if u happen to be in the same situation.

BUT, and again, WE ARE NOT TERRORISTS! Terrorists have no religion. Peace be with u every one and thank you so much for listening.


PS. posted with permission.

Talulot at Pamumukadkad…

Kagaya din ng pagmamahal. Kusa itong sumisibol at namumukadkad sa takdang panahon… at nalalanta paglaon.

Doon ko nais gugulin ang pagmumuni-muni sa pamumukadkad, sa isang positibo’t masayang pagtanaw sa isang makabuluhang yugto na sa tuwi-tuwina’y nagpapangiti sa akin nang hindi nangangamba sa mga bukas pang darating… at sa panahon ng pagbitiw sa tangkay at pagkalanta.

Alphredite: Isang Tala-Larawan

talulot06.12.15Animo’y mga palasong nagpapaligsahang matumbok ang pinagmumulan ng init na humahaplos sa kanilang murang tangkay habang hapo dulot ng pagpupulot-gata ng mapanglaw na langit  at matagal nang tigang na lupa, pinili ng mga talulot na ito ang magpakatatag sa pag-asang mararating nila ang pamumukadkad. May mga iilan sa kanila ang narating na ang yugtong iyon, nagpupunyaging idinadambana ang kanilang busilak na karik’tan at mapang-akit na halimuyak, at may mga iilan namang sinawing palad… mas ninais na hayaang kitilin ang umuusbong na pag-asang masaksihan ang sariling namumukadkad – marahil dahil sa takot na mahigitan ang mga nauna o di kaya’y mas gustong magpaubaya sa iilan pa.

Pana-panahon lamang ang pamumukadkad. At tanging panahon lamang ang makapagsasabi kung papaano nagsilbing kaaya-aya ang pagsibol ng mga talulot para sa iba. Oo, maaari niyang marating ang rurok kung saan tuluyan na niyang nailadlad ang sariling kabuuan, bago tuluyang malanta… at bumitiw sa tangkay na…

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It takes a dream and a push

“Kamo na po ang bahala kaan na aki mi, dae mi na po an kaya!” that was a statement from a parent who obviously opted not to find ways anymore in getting their child back to school. The conversation that happened a few years ago was still heartbreaking.


A parent cannot give up on her child no matter how academically slow or apathetic the latter is. At the back of our mind then, “what future would the child have should we opt to give up on him, too?” In the little ways we could, we tried motivating the learner… encouraged him to go to school and did what we could to make him love the idea that staying in school is cool and it’s really a prerequisite towards achieving his dreams [if he already had one for himself or for his family].

Before the second quarter ends, the parent informed us in a casual conversation that their child has decided to quit schooling. And that she and her husband have yielded to their son’s desire to leave for Manila and get whatever work he could find there. They’d even justified their decision that it was the best option their child had so he can finally avoid his ‘barkadas’ whom they accused of serving as ‘bad influence’ to their child. It was a crazy idea, I complain to myself.

Maybe our ‘little ways’ were too little… Obviously, we failed.

Another parent came to us [upon our guidance counselor’s request], complained of an almost similar plight… of how much their child was giving them so much headache [and perhaps, heart attacks of varying degree] and how sorry their family was for their child’s misbehavior.

But the twist in the story happened when the parent reaffirmed their commitment of not leaving their child. I sensed an air of doubt and hopelessness when she began saying, “dae na gayod kami ki magibo kaan na aki…” but was turned almost teary-eyed when I heard her adding, “…kaya lang pano na sana an pag-abot kan panahon, kun dae mi paghinguhaang mag-agom na makatapos maski hayskul na sana.” The student’s father is a carpenter and his mother is a plain housekeeper.

I was reminded of the latter’s conversation yesterday during our school’s graduation rites. While reading the roll of graduates, I was among the spectators who cheered for him as he happily waited for his mother and hold her hand as they walk towards the stage to receive his diploma.

One dream at a time… Click this photo to view the post on Facebook.

It’s a dream come true for his parents. It’s also a dream come true for us teachers and for the Institution who have been entrusted of the most challenging task of taking good care of their dreams and inspirations.

There is still so much task ahead for both of us – the school and the home, but we’re glad we’re doing our collective share one learner at a time, one dream at a time. Maybe that was enough…