Monday, November 22, 2010

Heaven On Matthew

Heaven on Matthew

The parables of the Gospels in the Bible show what could be heaven in store for God’s people.  It is true that the earth is a gift to human beings, yet humans have to know that something more beyond life is stored for those who obey God as a Father, and seek Him in eternity.

Check these:

1.  Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20)

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who goes out early in the morning to hire laborers to work in his vineyard.”

On the eleventh hour, all the workers were paid.  But some complained because some have worked only for a single hour, and the master put the others on a level with those who have borne the burden of a day’s heat.

Answering to them, he said “My friends, I have done you no injustice. Did you not agree with me to pay you a “denarius” for the day’s work?”  Take what is yours and leave; I choose to give to this last amount as I have given you.  Or are you envious because I am generous?  Even so the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few are chosen.”

2.Mustard Seed  (Matthew 13)
Another parable he set before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grin of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field.  It appears as the smallest of all seeds one can find on earth; but when it grows up it is larger than any herb for it grows to become a tree. Once a tree, the birds of the air come and dwell in its branches.”

3.Net  (Matthew 13)

Again the kingdom of heaven is like a net which the fishermen cast into the sea to gather fish of every kind.  When it was filled, the net is hauled out of the sea water into the boat and then brought to shore.  He sorts the fish – the good kind to be brought to the market, and the bad ones are thrown away.   

The angels will go out and separate the wicked from among the just, and will cast them down a furnace of fire where there will be the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

God’s kingdom is fair.  It is open to everyone.  So even if pagans, who came late knowing Jesus Christ are taken.

Also, like seeds each one grows and begins to improve everyday.  Light and faith of everyone are stronger with Jesus.  Those who believe in God will live with Him - in his house and kingdom forever.

Rose flores martinez

Luke On Poor Guests

Luke On Poor Guests

“The spirit is willing, but the body is weak,” so the Bible says. 

Others would say, “In reality, each has to scratch each other’s back.  Go with the rich, to get something.”

Most of us give and remember those who can reward/pay back.  During occasions, we even reserve the best gifts for rich relatives or friends.  The poor ones get the cheaper stuff.  They are given the last seats and the leftovers.

Let us learn from these parables:

  1. Fig Tree (Luke 21)

And he spoke to them a parable.  “Behold the fig tree, and all the trees around you.  When you now put forth their buds, everyone knows that summer is near.  Even so, when you see these things coming to pass, let it be as a sign that the kingdom of God is near.  Amen I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all things have been accomplished.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

  1. Good Shepherd  (John 10)

“Amen, amen, I say to you he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up another way, is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.”

“I am the Good Shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, even as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep.”

  1. Poor Guests (Luke)

But Jesus also said to the host who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not invite you friends, or your brethren or your relatives, or your rich neighbors that perhaps also recompense you.  But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; you shall be blessed because they have nothing to repay you with; but though you not aware, you shall be repaid at the time of the resurrection of the just.”

It is true that the poor cannot please and give back material things because they lack a lot in this life.  But then, if we can have something to share (even little) will find us joy. If we can give half the bread we’re eating to the least, we’re doing big acts of love.

Who are your guests this Christmas season?  What are your gifts to your friends, family, co-workers?   Are the foods you are serving your rich friends different from the foods for your poor friends?  Check your answers.

Rose flores martinez

The Last Seat, The Back Pew

The Last Seat, The Back Pew

Those who get to take the best seats in any celebration or gathering are the popular and wealthy people.  Sometimes, we think that we deserve the first seats and the front seats.  Perhaps, we take the best parts of the fish and meat, too.  Or from a basket of fruits, we grab to take the juiciest of all, forgetting that something must be shared. 

Last Seat (Luke 14)

When you are invited to a wedding feast, do not recline in the first seats, otherwise when perhaps one more distinguished have been invited by the host, and the host who invited you and him come and say to you,  “Make room for this man!” you should find yourself in a most embarrassing situation to take the last seat.  Thus when you are invited, go and recline in the last seat so that when the host who invited you comes, and he says to you, “Friend, come join me in the reserved seats!”  Then will you be honored in the presence of all who are at the table with you.  For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.

Pharisee and Tax Collector (Luke 18)

Two men went up the temple to pray, one was a Pharisee and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and began to pray to himself, saying’ “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men who are robbers, dishonest, adulterers, or even like the publican.  I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I possess.”  But the publican, standing far off , felt so ashamed of himself he could hardly lift up his eyes to heaven , but kept striking his breast, saying, “O God have mercy on me the sinner!”

“I tell you the publican went back home justified rather than the other for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles shall be exalted.”

One of the hardest lessons in life is humility.  Everyone is all too proud to boast of his accomplishments or status.  With this, the self always desires for recognition and gain. The Pharisees who deem themselves so righteous are like the believers who condemn people.  They think of others as unworthy and undeserving.  They forget that God made all to be His children.

The parables show that God favors the humble tax collector admitting his sinfulness and trying to amend his life.  Do you remember when Jesus said in another story, “Those without sin cast the first stone?”

May God give us the virtue of humility.

Rose Flores Martinez

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Panalangin Sa Our Lady of Veritas

October 16, 2010


Radio Veritas Holds Marian Exhibit at Asia Mall

The Virgin Mary in her different names, state of grace, and miracles are shown in a Marian exhibit at Asia Mall.

The images come from different parishes and towns all over the Philippines in cooperation with the Department of Education. Exhibit runs until October 28. Dr. Norma Salcedo heads the Literacy Coordinating Council (LLC) of DepEd in collaboration with Radio Veritas.

Prayer to Our Lady of Veritas (Panalangin Sa Our Lady of Veritas)

“O Birhen ng Katotohanan,
Ina ni Jeus, ang nagkatawan-taong Salita
Salamat sa iyong anak
Tinatanggap ko Siya bilang aking Katotohanan
At Kaligtasan

Sa pakikinig sa salita ng Diyos
Tulungan mo akong maging Malaya

Sa oras ng hirap at pagsubok
Linawin mo sa akin, na nasa krus ang tagumpay

Sa aking paglalakbay, akayin mo ako
Sa buhay ng paglilingkod
At sa buhay na ganap at kasiya-siya

Kupkupin mo ako at ang aking mga kapanalig
Na nakikinig, natututo at nagmamahal

O Maria Birhen ng katotohanan
Ipanalangin mo kami.

O Hesus, Ikaw ang daan, and katotohanan
At ang buhay, iligtas mo kami,”

Check this out:

1. Mother of the Poor “Ina ng Mga Dukha”

2. “La Nina Maria y San Joaquin”

3. The Dormition (Falling Asleep)

Mary died falling asleep.

4. “La Peregrina”

5. “Mater Dolorosa”

6. Perpetual Virginity (Dogma of the Perpetual Virgin Mary)

7. “La Advocat Nostra” Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a small brown statue.

8. “La Pura y Limpia”

9. Our Lady of Pentecost

10. “Nuestra Senora lela Leche y Buen Parto”

“Mahal na Gatas at ng Matiwasay/Matagumpay na Panganak”

11. “Nuestra Senora del Silencio”

12. The Black Madonna of Czestocshowa

(Czarna Madonna or Matka Boska Czestochowska in Polish)

Lady Icon of the Virgin; Poland’s holiest relic and one of the country’s symbols

13. “Nuestra Senora de la Merced” a subject of Christian art

14. Our Holy Fatima

15. “La Reina de las Islas Filipinas”

Feast: May 8

16. “La Madonna del Paradiso”

17. “Nuestra Senora del Santissimo Rosario La Naval”

18. “Manaog” – Patroness of the sick and the helpless

19. Our Lady of Caysasay

20. “Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia de Naga” (Long Live the Virgin!)

21. “Nuestra Senora dela Soledad de Porta Baga”

22. Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace

23. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Feast: July 16

24. Our Lady of Hope

Her hands extended like in the “miraculous medal” but with rays of light

25. Our Lady of Alta Gracia

26. Our Lady of La Sallete

27. Mary, comforter of the Afflicted

28. Queen of the Apostles

29. La Pieta (Italian for Pity)

In remembrance of the lamentations of Christ

See: Mother of Sorrows – Mater Dolorosa

Here Stands the Mother - Stabat Mater

30. Empress of China

PRAYER to our Lady of Czestochowa

Holy Mother of Czestochowa
You are full of grace, goodness and mercy
I consecrate to you all my thoughts
Words, actions; especially
My soul and my body.

I ask for your blessing and
Especially prayers for my salvation.

Today, I dedicate myself to you,
Good Mother
Totally with my body and soul
Amid joy and suffering to obtain
For myself and others your blessings
On this earth
And eternal life in heaven

For inquiries visit LCC Website at
And Radio Veritas at

Rose Flores Martinez

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pagsasalin ng Kuwento ni Greg Brillantes: Faith, Love, Time and Dr. Lazaro

May 6, 2010

Faith, Love, Time and Dr. Lazaro by Greg Brillantes


Paniniwala, Pag-big, Panahon at Si Dr. Lazaro

Mula sa veranda sa itaas, natatanaw ni Dr. Lazaro ang mga bituin ang kadiliman sa nayon, ang mga ilaw sa malayong highway sa gilid ng bayan. Itinututog ng ponograpo ang isang piyesa ni Chopin – para bagan pinipigilang isang malalim na pighati, na kilala ng tulad ng nakasanayan niyang isipin. Ngunit habang siya ay nakaupo doon, ang kanyang payat na katawan, sa kanyang nakagawiang nakahandusay na pagkakakhiga tulad ng karaniwan, pagkatapos ng hapunan, nakatitig sa kapatagan ng gabi na pumupuna sa mga banayad na imahen at kahit sa isang uri ng kapayapaan din (sa huli, matmis at di-magaping paglimot), walang naalala si Dr. Lazaro, ang kanyang diwa di madampian ng alin mang kamalayang isipan, di man lamang niya mapansin ang init ng Abril, ang himig ng musika umiikot sa kanya at tahasang nawala, mabilisang nawala, di-naunawaan.

Para bagang ang pagwawalang – bahala ay impeksyon a pumasok sa kanyang dugo, laganap sa kanyang katawan. Sa managlat na ilaw galling sa sala and kanyang patulis na muksha ay may magabokd at maduming hitsura, ang kanyang mga mata lamang and mayroong buhay. Maaaring siya ay nanduon lamang ng gabing, hindi gumagalawy, at nakalibing, n asana, sa kakaibang pagkakatlog, kung ang kanyang maybahay ay hindi sana pumunta para sabihin sa kanya na kailangan siya sa telepono.

Unti-unti and kanyan isip ay napukaw, nakapokus; habang siaya ay tumayo sa silya, nakilala siy ang mapanglaw na mga taludtod sa sonatana, may di-karaniwang nagpaisip sa kanya ng sinaunang monumento kupas na mga batong dingding, makulimlim na abo. Inihanay ng utalk ang mga imahen, ang pagsasaayos ng maga tunog ang napalabas …pinatay niya ang ponograpo, piniglan ang di-mspa lagay na panginginig ss kanayang lalamunana habang iniaabot ang telepono: lshsy sy msy psh-sngkin sa kanyang oras. Naisip niya: Bakit hindi ang mga nakababata para may pagbababgo.? Mahaba ang araw na ginugol niya sa probinyal hospital.

Ang lalaki ay tumatawag galing sa gasolinahan sa ibayong bayan – ang estasyon pagkatapos ng agricultyural high school, at bago sa tulay ng San Miguel, ang lalaki ay nagdagdag ng hindi kinakailangan, sa boses na naghuhumindik sa pananangis ngunit may kakatwag pagsupil at paggalang. Narinig na ni Dr. Lazaro ito ng pangilang beses, sa mga pasilyo ng ospital sa mga silid- hintayan: ang patuloy na asiwang kahirapan. Siya si Pedro Esteban, ang kapatid ng tenant ng doctor sa Nambalan, ang sabi ng tinig, pinipilit nito na gawin ang sarili na hindi iba.

Ngunit ang konkesyon ay may diperensya, may ingay sa mga linya, parang idinagdag ng kadiliman sa kalayuan ng bahay sa bayan at ng gasolinahan sa ibayong kabukiran. Bahagyang natanto ni Dr. Lazaro ang mga katagang mabibigat. Ang ‘sang linggong sanggol na anak na lalaki ay may mataas na lagnat, asul na kulay na balat; at bibig na hindi nila puwedeng madala ang sanggol sa poblasyon, ayaw nilang subukang galawin; sa konting masalt ang katawan ay naninigas. Kung ang doctor ay papayag na pumunta kahit hatinggabi, hinihintay siay ni Esteban sa estasyon. Kung ang doctor ay magiging napakabait…

Tetanus ng bagong panganak: iyon ay kitang-kita, at mukhang walang pag-asa, pagsasayang ng panahon. Sinabi ni Dr. Lazarong Oo, siya ay pupunta; ipinangako niya ang kanayang sarili sa ganoong sagot, noon pa man; tungkulin ang umako sa lugar ng pagod na pagkahabag. Ang mapagpabaya ng mahihirap, ang mga nakakahawang mga kumot, ang lasong papunta sa puso: sila ang laing mga nakasulat na mga bagay sa mga klinikal report. Ngunit sa labas ng mga bintanang binakalan, ang gabi ay parang buhay at naghihintay. Wala siyang ibang pagpilian kndi aksyon: ito lang ang tanging magpapatibay – minsang paalala niya sa sarili – bagamat ito ay magpapatuay na walang bias, bago paglusong sa kawalan.

Tumingala ang kanyang maybahay mula sa kanyang mga karayom at pisi, sa ilalim ng lampara sa silid; natapos niya ang ginagawa para sa apong nasa Baguio at sinimulan ang bagong gawain, ang tala niya, mga kasuotan pang-altar para sa simbahan ng parokya. Relihiyon at ang knayang apo ang umuokopa sa kanyan… Hindi niya tiningnan si Dr. Lazaro ng mabuti, para tanungin: isang malaki at matahimik na babae.

“Hindi dapat pinauwi ang drayber ng napa-kaaga,” sabi ni Dr. Lazaro.

“Kailangan maghintay sila ngayon bago tumawag … Ang bata ay malamang na patay na…”

“Si Ben ay puwedeng mag-drvie para sa iyo.”

“Minsan ko lamang Makita ang batang iyan sa paligid ng bahay. Parang siya ay nasa bakasyon ng bahay at eskwelehan.”

“Siya ay nasa ibaba,” sabi ng kanyang maybahay.

Nagbihis si Dr. lazaro ng bagong kamiseta, pabiglang galaw, ibinutones na ninerbyos. “Akala ko lumabas na naman siya … Sino iyong babaeng lagi siayng nakikipagkita?... Hindi lamang mainit, napakainit. Sana dumuon ka na lamang sa Baguio… May mga sakit, paghihirap, kamatayan, dahil kinain ni Adan ang mansanas. May sagot dapat sila sa lahat…” Tumigil siyang sandali sa pintuan, para sa alingawngaw ng kanyang mga salita.

Itinuloy ni Gng. Lazaro ang kanyang pagnitin; sa pabilog na sinag ng ma-dilaw na ilaw, nakayuko ang kanyang ulo, siya ay parang nakabuhos sa mataimtim na pagdarasal. Ngunit ang kanyang katahimikan ay nawala para gambalain siya, katulad ng plaster ng maga santong itinatago niya sa silid, sa kanilang mga lalagyang salamin, o kaya ang kanilang sabwatan, kung lumalabas siayng kasama si Ben para sa mga misa tuwing uamaga. Si Dr. Lazaro ay magsasalita tungkol sa miracle drugs, politico, musika, ang paliwanag ng kanyang di-paniniwala, iba’t-ibang bagay na pinagsama-sama sa isang monolog; nagbabanggit siya ng mga tanong, nagbibigay ng kanyang sariling mga sagot; at si Gng. Lazaro ay tatango lmang, na may minsa’y pagsang-ayon ng “Oo?” at “Totoo nga ba?” at para bagang may anino ng pagaagam-agam sa kangyang titig.

Nagmadali siyang pababa sa palikong hagdan, sa ilalim ng mapangakong lampara ng Sacred Heart. Nakahilata si Ben sa sofa, sa bungad sa sla, abalang-abala sa isang libro, na may isang pang nakadagan sa likod ng kushiong sofa. “Halika, tayo ay may pupuntahan,” ang sabi ni Dr. Lazaro, at nagonta sa klinika para sa kanyang medical bag. Nagdagdag siya ng isang maliit na bote ng penstrep, isang ampule ng “caffeine” sa laman ng satyel, at tiningnang muli ang bag bago isinarado; ang “catgut” ay magkakasya para sa isang pasyente na lamang. Makakagamot lamang ang isang doctor , ngunit hindi malalaman ang mangyayari pagkatapos ng trabaho… May isang lalaki kanina sa ospital: ang sakit na dulot ng cancer ay hindi nakayanang sugpuin ng mga doses ng morpina ; ang mata ng pasyente ay pumipilantik ng kawalan ng pag-asa na makikita sa naaagnas na mukha. Mabilis na lumabas si Dr. Lazaro sa malakarburong maputing silid; nagbalik siya sa kanyang elemento, sa mga ineksyon, bakal na pang-operang mga instrumento, mabilis na desisyong walang pandamdam, at biingyan siay nito ng paurol na lakas.

“Ako ang magmamaneho, Pa?” Sinundan siya ni Ben sa kusina, kung saan pinaplantsa ng mga katulong ang isang linggong nilabhan, nagtsitsismis, at sa labas ng bakuran nalambungan ng kadaliman ng iisang bombilya sa ilalim ng medya-agua. Itinulak ni Ben an sumasarang pinto ng garahe at nagmaneho na.

“May naghihintay sa gasolinahan malapit sa San Miguel. Alam mo ba ang lugar?”

“Pihado,” sabi ni Ben.

Bumusa ang makina ng saglit at tumigil. “Ang baterya ay mahina,” ang sabi ni Dr. Lazaro. “Subukan mo nang patay ang mga ilawy,” at naamoy niya ang pag-apaw ng gasoline smantalang ang lumang Potiac ay gumiray sa paligid ng bahay palabas sa sala-slang geyt, ang knyang harap sumisinag sa tuyo at maalikabok na kalye.

Pero siya ay maayos, naisip ni Dr. Lazaro habang sila ay madaling kumurba sa pangunahing kalsada ng baying, pagkatapos ng simbahan at saka ng plasa, ang kiosko ay ipinapakita sa panahon ng mga piyesta, ang mga lamparang poste susinag sa mathimik na plasa. Hindi sila nagsalita, nararamdama niya ang konsentrasyon ng kayang anak sa kalsada, at itinala niya na may pansamantalang kaligayahan, ang napakatinding paka-hawak ng anak sa manibela, ang kanyang hangad na makatulong. Dumaan sila sa di-kagandahang mga gawang bahay sa likod ng palengke, at sa Kapotolyo sa tnawing burol, sa maginhawang pagkambyo sa kanilang pagpunta sa riles na tumatawid sa aspaltong kalsada.

Pagkatapos ang daan ay mabato at hindi patag, umaalma ng bahagya ang sasakyan; at sila ay tumatakbo sa gitna ng mga bukid, sunod-sunod na makikitid na mga tulay nagpapatigil sa langutngot ng mga gulong . Tumanaw si Dr. Lazaro sa halos madilim na paligid nila, ang mga korte ng mga puno at palumpong pumupukol papunta sa kanila at dumudulas papalayo, at nakita niya ang mga bituin matitigas na kislap ng mga ilaw, gumagalaw kasama ng sasakyan. Naisip niya ang magaan na mga taon, maitim na kawalan, walang-hanggang kalayuan; sa hindi masukat na daigdig, ang buhay ng tao ay sisiklab ng panandali at pagkatapos ay mawawala, di-mababakas sa papawirin. Tumalikod siya sa kawalan, sinabi niyan “Mukhang ikaw ay praktisado sa marming bagay, Ben.”

“Sa anong mga bagay, Pa?”

“Sa iyong pagmamaneho. Masyadong propesyonal.”

Sa liwanag ng mga ilaw ng awto, lumubay ang mukha ni Ben, at ngumiti. “Pinagagamit ni Tiyo Cesar ang awto niya sa Maynila kung minsan.”

“Wala nang walang taros na pagmamaneho ngayon,” sabi ni Dr. Lazaro. “Akala ng ibang tao ito ay kalistuhan. Binibigyan sila ng pakikipagsapalaran. Huwag kang maging ganon.”

Pinagmasdan ni Dr. Lazaro ang batang mukha na nakatuon sa kalsada, isang puyo s amay taas noon, ang maliit na kurbada ng ilong, ang kanyang sariling mukha bago bago siya umalis para makag-aral sa ibang bansa, isang estudyanteng puno ng mga haka-haka, noong una, bago mawala ang pananampalataya, ang Diyos na mahirap manunawaan, hindi maintindihan, at kahit saan, para sa kanyang ang mga walang kabuluhang aksidente ng pagkakasakit.

Nagkarron siya ng pangangaliang para maipaliwanag ang mga bagay-bagay, para maging malapit kahit papaano sa iisa niyang anak; isa sa mga darating na araw, bago matapos ang
Bakasyon nin Ben, maaari silang magpiknik na mag-ama, bumiyahe papuntang bukid, isang espesyal na araw para sa knilang dalawa – ama at anak, at mga kaibigan din. Sa dalawang taong nasa kolehiyo si Ben, nagsusulatan sial ng maiikling mga pormal na sulat; ang iyong pera ay parating na, ito ang pinakamabuting mga taon, smantalahin…

Ang oras ay nagdaraan patungo sa kanila, na paikot-ikot at pedals umaalis, at parang naririnig ni Dr. Lazaro ang malalim at napakalakas na sigaw; at sa pagdiskubre ng higis ng mukha ni Ben sa dumadaloy na dili,. Nagkaroon siya ng pagka-uhaw para magsalita. Hindi niya matagpuan kung ano ang kailangan niyang sab
Ang agrikultyural na paaralang mga gusali ay makikita sa mga maliliwanag na ilwa at susasalimbay pabalik sa malabong mga hugis sa mga bakod.

“Ano nga ang iyon librong binabasa, Ben?”

“Isang talambuhay” sabi ng binata.

“Sa isang estadista? O scientist kaya?”

“Ito ay tungkol sa isang lalaki na nagging mongha.”

“Iyan ang iyong babasahin para sa summer?” So Dr. Lazaro ay nagtanon ng mya bahagyang pagngit, medyo may pag-insulto, medyo may pagmamahal. “Nagiging kang lagging parang santo, katulad ng iyong ina.”

“Ito ay kawili-wiling libro,” sabi ni Ben.

“Naipapalagay ko nga….” Itinigil niya ang mapanuksong boses.” Siguro magpapatuloy ka sa medisina pagkatapos ng iyong A.B.?”

‘Hindi ko pa alam, Pa.”

Maliliit na gamu-gamong parang mga inihipang kapiranggot na mga papel and lumipad patungo sa salamin ng awto at parang umimbudo papataas sa kanila. “Hindi mo kailangan maging probinyals doctor katulad ko, Ben. Maarin kang magsanay sa lungsod.

Magpakadalubhasa sa kanser, baka sakali, o kaya san euro-surgery, at magtrabahao sa isang malaking ospital.” Para bagang ito ay pagbabalik sa kakaibang kasiyanhan, sa awto, sa pagaagaw dilim.

“Iniisip ko nga iyon,” sabi ni Ben. “Ito ay isang tungkulin, na napakabigat. Para tutoong makatulong sa tao, ang ibig kong sabihin.”

“Npakahusay mo s a Math, hindi ba?”

“Totoo nga, marahil,” sinabi ni Ben.

“Maganda ring kurso ang Engineering,” sabi ni Dr. Lazaro. Maraming mga bakante para sa mga enhinyero. Mga nagpaplano at mga magtatayo, sila ang kailanga ng bansang ito. Masyado nang maraming gma abogado at mga dispatsador sa panahon ngayon. Ngayon kung ang iyong kapatid – “Ipinikit niya ang kanyang mga mata, binubura ang hiwang mga pulso, patay na bahagi ng hinaharap sa isang pangaserahang-silid, ang kasera ay ngumumnguyngoy, “Siya ay isang napakabait na bata, doctor, ang iyong anak….” Ang dalamhati ay nagtatambang sa mga taon.

“Nasa akin gang buong bakasyon para pag-isipan,” sabi ni Ben.

“walang pagmamadali,” sinabi ni Dr. Lazaro. Ano ang gusto niyang sabihin? Mahalagang bagay tungkol sa pagkakalapit nilang dalwa, tungko sa pagsasama; hindi, ito ay hindi tanging iyon….

Ang estasyon ay bumungad sa pamamabay nila sa mababang burol, ang mga ploresent na ilaw ang tanging liwanang sa kapatagang humaharap sa kanila, sa kalsada na nagdadala sa kanila sa kailaliman ng ilim. Isang pangkargamentong trak ang nagpupuno ng gasolinda samantalang sila ay nagmamaneho sa kondretong daan at umigil sa katabi ng silungan ng estasyon.

Isang mababang lalaking nakayapak na may tagpi-tagping damit ang papunta para salubuning sila. “Ako po si Esteban, doctor,” ang sabi ng lalaki sa tinig na malamlam at malat, halos hindi marining, at yumuko siyang bahagya na may paggalang. Nakatayo siyang napakurap, nakatingala sa doctor, na kumuha ng kanyang bag at flashlight galling sa awto.

Sa walang hanging kalawakan, naririning ni Dr. Lazaro ang pilit na paghinga ni Esteban, kumalangsing ang takip na metal sa pagpapalit ng attendant ng bomba. Naguusyoso abg mga lalaki sa trak.

Sinabi ni Esteban, na itinuturo ang kadiliman sa dulo ng kaksada: “Kailangan tayong dumaan sa mga bukid na iyon, doctor, at pagkatapos ay tumawid sa ilog.” Ang pagpapaumanhin para sa isa pang pahirap ay makikita sa pagsusumamo ng kanyang mga mata. Idinagdag niya sa boses na mahina: “Hindi masyadong malayo…” Nagsalita si Ben sa attendant at ikinandado ang awto.

Humugong ang trak at gumalaw ng mabagal papunta sa kalsada, ang pintig ay malakas at pagkatapos ay humihina sa mainit na gabing tahimik.

“Ituro mo ang daan,” sinabi ni Dr. Lazaro, ibinibigay kay Esteban ang flashlight.

Tinawid nila ang daan, patungo sa pilapil na pumapalibot sa lngan. Pinagpapawisan si Dr. Lazaro ngayon sa init; sumusunod sa umuugoy na bola na sinag ng flashlight, napapaligiran ng di-mapigiliang gabi, naramdamam niyang siya ay kinakaladkad, na walang awa, sa isang malaki at napakagulong pagkakamali, isang walang napakagulong pagkakamali, isang walang kuwentan seremonya. Sa dako ng kanyang kaliwa ay may pumaitaas na pagaspas ng mga pakpak, siang ibong umiiyak sa hindi makitang mga dahon: naglalakda sila ng matulin, at nanduon lamang ang tunog ng katahimikan, ang palaging kagalkal ng mga kuliglig at ang bulong ng kanilang mga paa sa pagitan ng daan ng mga pinaggapasan na bukid.

Malapit at kasunod si Ben, sinundan ni Dr. Lazaro si Esteban pababa sa luad na dalisdis patungo sa tampal at munting alon ng tubig sa dilim. Nasinagan ng flashlight ang isang bangka sa may tabing-ilog. Lumakad si Esteban sa lalim-baywang ng tubig, at hinawakana ng bangka habang si Dr. Lazro at sib en ay sumakay. Sa kadiliman, ang kabilang pampang ay parang isang malayong isla, si Dr. Lazaro ay nagkaroon ng pansamantalang takot nang ang bangka ay pumadausdos sa maitim na tubig; sa ilalim ng pagala-galang agos; upang malunod dito sa kalaliman ng gabi … ngunit isang minuto lamang ang biyahe. “Nandito na tayo, doctor,” sabi ni Esteban, at sial ay sumulong sa haba ng buhanginan sa maraming mga puno; isang aso ang nag-umpisang tumahol, ang anino ng de-gas na lampara umaandap-andap sa bintana.

Marahan sa matarik na hagdan, pumasok si Dr. Lazaro sa kuweba na barong-barong ni Esteban. May kakibang amoy ang iisang silid na palagi niayang nakakasagupa ngunit nagging dayuhan ditok nakapupukaw ang impersonal na pagkasuya: ang maasim na pagkabulok, ang amoy ng di-naiinitang may sakit. Isang matandang lalaki ang bumati sa kanya, nauutal walang pag-uugnay; sa isang babae, ang lola, ang nakaupo sa isang tabi, sa ilalim ng kuwadro ng Mother of Perpetual Help; isang batang lalaki, may sampumg taon, natutulog, nakahandusay sa banig. Maputla at mapayat ang asawa ni Esteban, nakahiga sa sahig katabi ng may sakit na nak. Hingi gmagalaw, ang maliit na halos kulay asul na mukha, malayo sa dibdib sa nakasimangot sa pagkangibit, ang sanggol ay parang nahihirapang magpahayag ng kahilahilakbot na sinaunang karunungan.

Nag-check ups si Dr. Lazaro ng pahapaw- ang balat ay malamig; ang paghinga ay mababaw; pinitg ng puso ay mabilis at irregular. At sa pagkakataon na iyon, taning ang bata ang naroon sa haroa niya, tanging ang bat at ang kanyang isipang nagpapatunay tulad ng isang matingas at kumikinang na instrument. Katakataka kung ito ay mabubuhya pa, sabi ng knaynang isip samantalang maingat niyang nakita ang katiting na siklab sa matigas at malabis na paghihirap ng katawan. Siya lamang at ang bata, ang kabuuan niya ay nakatuon dito sa napakatinding mga minutong hinubog sa isang nakaugalinang maraming mga pagkakataon; ang kanyang kaalaman bilang doctor na nagsusumikap para patibukin ang puso, para ibalik ang humihinang buhay at para sa ganoon ay palakasin mulin.

Inalis ni Dr. Lazaro ang mga kumot na bumalot sa bata at inutrukan ng isang boteng ampule para masubukan ang silakbo ng gamot, ang karayom na tumuturok sa kaunting laman; nagbukas muli siya ng isa pang ampule, ng masubukan ang silakbo ng gamut, ang karayom na tumuturok sa kaunting laman; nagbukas muli siya ng isa pang ampule, ng may eksaktong paggalaw, at inubos and ineksyon, smantalang ang sangglol ay nakahigang matigas na parang kahoy sa kanyang mga kamay. Pinunasan niya ang pawis nadumaloy patungo sa kanyang mga mata, at hinawakan ang matingas na katawan ng isang kamay, sinikap niyang mabigyan ng hangin ang mahinang mga baga, idinidiin at binibitiwan ang dibdib; ngunit habang nagsusumikay siya para buhayin ang bata, ang pagka-asul na kylay ng kanyang mukha ay nagging kulay-abo.

Tumindig si Dr. Lazaro sa pagka-kayukyuk sa sahig, may sakit ng pulikat sa kanyang mga balikat, ang bibg ay tuyo. Suminag sa kanyan maputla, hungkag na mukha ang ilaw ng lampara samantalang hinarap niyang muli ang silid, ang dating init, ang kahirapan. Hinarap ni Esteban ang kanyang titig; lahat ng kanilang mga mata ay nakatuon sa kanya, nasa pinto si Ben, ang matandang lalaki, ang babae sa gilid, at ang asawa ni Esteban, sa nakagninginig na mga anino.

Sinabi ni Esteban: “Doktor..”

Ikiniling niya ang kanyang ulo, at inilagya ang lalagyan ng ineksyon sa kanyang bag, dahn-dahan at sadya, isisnara ang clasp. May mga bulong sa kanyang likod, kaluskos sa kawayang sahig, at sa kanyang pag-ikot, si Ben ay nakaluhod sa tabi ng bata. At siya an nanuod sa pagod at puknat na pagka-gulat, smantalang ibinuhos ni Ben ang tubig galling sa bao ng niyo sa may kilay ng bata. Nahuli niya ang mga salita sa bahagyang pagbulong sa katahimikan: “… sa ngalan ng Ama… ng Anak… at ng Espiritu Santo…”

Pumagaspas ang mga anino sa mga dinding, ang puso ng gasera nanginginig bago lumiit ang apoy. Sa may ilog ang mga aso ay tumatahol. Sumulyap si Dr. Lazaro sa kanyang relo; malapit nang mag-alas dose ng hatinggabi. Nakatayo si Ben sa may bata, ang bao sa kanyang mga kamay, parang nagiisip kung ano ang susunod na gagawin dito, hanggand Makita niya ang kanyang amang nagpahiwatig na aalis na sila.

“Doktor, sabihin ninyo pos a amin – “papalapit na sabi ni Esteban.

“Ginawa kong lahat ang aking makakaya,” sinabi ni Dr. Lazaro. “Huli na ang lahat – “ Ipinahiwatig niyang marahan, na may bahagyang hinanakit; sa konting mapahiwatig na relasyon, siya rin ay responsible, sa kalungkutan sa silid, sa kawalan ng pag-asa. “Wala na akong magagawa pa, Esteban,” sabi niya. Inisip niya na may pagkakagalit: Mabuti nga ang mga bata ay hindi na mahihirap, magpasalamt kayo. Nagsimulang umiyak ang asawa ni Esteban, pinipigil ang paghikbi, at ang matandang babae ay inaalo siya.” Ito ang kaloob ng Diyos, aking anak…”

Sa bakuran, maingat na ibinigay ni Esteban ang mga nakatuping salapi sa kamay ng Doktor; ang malata, gulanit na dama sa pera ay kasama sa walang-saysay na paglalakbay. “Alam kong hindi ito sapat, doctor,” sabi ni Esteban. “Sa nakikita mo kami ay napaka-hirap… Dadalhan kita ng prutas, mga mank, baling araw…”

Ang palubog na buwan ay tumataas, papaitaas sa mga punong-kahoy, at ang papalabong liwang ng ilaw nito, sinamahan silang myli ni Esteban pabalik a bangka. Umalon-alon ang kumikislap na ibabawy ng tubig sa kanilang pagsagwan papakaibang ibayao; ang maputing liwanag ng buwan lumaganap sa langit, at ang mabilis na hangin ay lumuksong parang ulan at nawala sa mga puno sa may tabi ng ilog.

“Hindi kita lubos na mapapasalamatan doctor,” sabi ni Esteban. “Napakabait mo para pumunta ng ganito kalayo, sa ganitong oras.”

Nakatayo sila sa luad na tabing ilog, sa mga anino ng buwan katabi ng kumikislap na tubig. Sinabi ni Dr. Lazaro: Bumalik ka na, Esteban. Alam na naming ang daan papunta sa kalsada. Ang daan ay duon lamang, hindi ba?” Gusto niyang paalisin na ang lalaki, para mawal sa nahihiyang tinig, sa napakahabang-paghamak.

“Lagi akong magpasalamat doctor,” sabi ni Esteban. “At sa inyong anak, din. Patnubayan kayo ng Diyos.” Siya ay may papalayong tinig papunta sa mga anino, isang inbisibol na tao sa hamak na mga grupo kapag araw ng pamamalengke.

“Halika na, Ben” sabi ni Dr. Lazaro.

Sinundan nila ang daan papatawid ng bukid; sa paligid nila ay bingaong anyo ng liwanag ng buwan ang tanawin, ipinapakita ang mayumi, malapit na sukat, ang nagliliwanag na ulap sa mga masisilang punong kahoy kasama ng pumapaotaas na hangin: at ang init ng gabi ay nagdaan, ang lamig ay bumababa galling sa malawak na kalangitan. Di nagmamadali, ang kanyang kilos ay karaniwan lamang, nadama ni Dr. Lazaro na naglalaho ang pagsiil ng gabi sa kanya; ang pagwa-walang bahala na kaayusan ay bumalik sa kanyang isipan. Ang maya ay hindi nahuhulog na hindi nalalaman ng kanyang Ama, tingingala niya ang langit, ngunit nahuhulog din ito. Ngunit hanggang saan ang pagdurusa ng isang bata? Ang mga kuliglig ay humuni ng tiwasay sa dilim ng papaplubog na buwan sa ilalim ng mga puno.

“Bininyagan mo ang bat,” hindi ba, Ben?”

“Oo, Pa.” Ang binata ay nag-ayos ng kanyang sarili.

Dati rin siyang naniniwala sa ganoon, ang kapangyarihan ng Espiritu Santo na hinuhugasan ang kasalanan, ang malilnis na kaluluwa taga-pagmana ng lanigt. Natatandaan niya ang mga kapirasong nakaraan ng kanyang kabataang mga pininiwala, at ang matatandang malayong mangyaring mga pangarap.”

“Binyag ng karaniwang tao, hindi ba iyon ang tawag doon?”

“Opo,” sabi ni Ben. “Tinanong ko ang ama. Ang sanggol ay hini pa binyag.” Idinagdag niya habang sila ay papalapit sa daang naghihiwalay ng bukid sa kalsada. “Hininhintay nilang ito ay gumaling.”

Magandang kinagawian; ito ay nagpakita na ang binata ay may tals ng pag-iisip, paniniwala, ngunit ano pa? Tuturuan siya ng mundo ng mas maraming kaalaman.

Nasara ang estasyon, na may kanoping sindi at ang logo nitong umiilaw na lamang. May ihip ng hangin sa gitna na parang, sa naliliwagang linang.

Nakita niya si Ben na humihikab. “Ako ang magmamamneho,” sinabi ni Dr. Lazaro.

Hindi katulad ng dati ang kanyang mga mata, nag mamaneho siyang nakahilig, papalapit at humahawak ng mahigpit sa manibela. Pinangpawisan siyang muli, at ang walgn taong daan, at and pagkahuli at ang pag-iisip kay Esteban at nang kanyang anak na namatya bago mag-umaga sa isang napakahirap, sinindihang lampara kasama ng pagod. Nag-isip din siya tungkol sa kanayng isang anak, iyong isang nawala.

Sinabi niya, gusting makipag-usap, “Kung ang ibang tao ay tulad mo, Ben, ang mga pari ay mawawalan ng trabaho.”

Nakaupo ang binata sa tabi niya, iniwas ang mukha, hindi sumasagot.

“Ngayon, may angel ka nag magdarasal para sa iyo sa langit,” sabi ni Dr. Lazaronng, nanunukso, pilit na pinagagaan ang loob nilang dalawa. “Paano kung hindi mo bininyagan ang bata at ito ay namatay? Ano ang mangyayari dito?

“Hindit nito makikita ang Diyos,” sabi ni Ben.

“Ngunit hindi ito makatarungan?” Para itons isang bugtong, maliit ngunit pag-iisipan. Dahil lamang…-“

“Marahail may ibang paraan ang Diyos,” sabi ni Ben. Hindi ko alam. Ngunit sabi ng sinasabi ng simbahan –

Nararamdaman niyang ang binata ay naghahanap ng kapani-paniwalang mga sagot. “Itinuturo ng simbahan, sinssabi ng simbahan …”Diyos: Si Jesus: ang komunyon ng mga Santo: Nakita ni Dr. Lazaro ang kanyang pagtatanong tungkol sa mga novenas at mga kandila, kung saan ang inapay at alak ay nagging katawan at duo ng Dyos, at and babaeng puno ng ilaw ay nagpakita sa mga bata, ang sangkatauhan ay nag-uusap tungkol sa walng-hanggang buhay, ang pananaw tungkol sa Diyos, ang pagkabuhay at katawan sa katapusan ng panahon. Para itong isang bansang pinagbawalan; kahit ano pa ang kinagawian, hindi siya naakit ng heograpiya. Ngunit sa loob ng awto, samantalang sila ay tumatakbo sa gabi, nararamdaman niya ang malabong kasiyahan, ang kabigatan sa puso, para bagang pinagkaitan siya ng kaligyahan…

Isang bus ang umugong patugno sa kanila, ang mga ilaw nitong nakabubulag , at minaneobra niya papunta sa gilid ng daan, sadyang nag-brake, samantalang maraming mga alikabok ang pumunta sa kotse. Hindi niya isinarado ang bintana sa kanyang tabi, at ang bintana sa kanyang tabi, at ang lumipad na buhangin ay pumasok, ang mga alikabok na halos sumakal, nag-paubo sa kanya, ang mga mata niyang napaluha bago pa niya
Matakpan ang kanyang mukha. Sinala ng mga headlights ang mga alikabok at nang ang hangin ay malinaw na muli, sa pagkakaklunok ni Dr. Lazaro ng lupa, ng kadiliman, ibinalki ang awto sa kasada, ng kanyang mga brasong pagod at walang pakiramdam. Nagmaneho siya patungo sa bayan ng tahimik, ang kanyang isip walang naaalala kundi ang buhangin sa kanyang bunganga at ang walang lamang kalsadang di-kumadalas sa kanyang harapan.

Nakarating sila sa natutulong na byan, ang malulungko na kalye, ang plasang walang laman sa liwanang ng buwan, at ang nagsisiksikang hugis ng mga bahay, ang mga lumang mga bahay na kangawian ni Dr. Lazaro. Ilang gabi na siyang nagmamaneho ng ganito sa tahimik na bayan, pagkamatya ng isang tao, o di kaya ng isang bata na umiiyak galling sa sinapupunana; at ang pagpapalit ng galaw, ng pagbabago, ng mabilis na pagdaraan ng mga araw patungo sa katotohanang tumampi sa kanyang muli, panandali, at hindi pa rin niya mahanapan ng mga kataga. Lumiko siya sa huling kanto, at minamaneho ang kotse sa batuhang driveway patungo sa garahe, smanatalng isisnarado ni Ben ang gate. Umupo sandali doon si Dr. Lazaro, ng hindi gumagalaw, pinapahinga ang mga mata, may maly sa patuloy na pigtibok ng kanyang puso, at huminga ng amoy na alikabok na kumapit sa kanyang damit, sa knyang balat. Marahan siyang bumaba sa awto, ikinandao ito, at pumunta sa tabi ng mataas na tangke ng tubig kung saan naghihintay si Ben.

Sa di-kinasanayang pagiging magiliw tinapik niya sa balikat si Ben at pumasok sa sementong bhay. Galing sila sa isang paglalabay; sbay silang nakauwi ng ligtas. Nadama niya ang paglapi sa binata ngayon, kesa noon.

“Ipagpaumanhin mo ang pagpapauwi sa iyo ng gabi,” sabi ni Dr. Lazaro.

“Walang anuman, Pa.”

“Sa ibang gabi, huh Ben? Iyong ginawa mo doon sa baryo” – nanduon ang pasuporta sa kanyang tono – “matutuwa ang iyong ina na marinig ang tungkol dito.”

Hinawakan niya ang binata ng marahan. “Reverand Father Ben Lazaro.” Ang bugso ng biglang pagpapatawa. – ito ay kasali sa pagkakaibigan. Nanggigil siyang inaantok: “Fathre Ben Lazaro ano ang aking gagawin para magkaroon ng walang hanggang buhay?”

Samantalang binuksan niya ang pinto sa igpaw ng kadiliman, ang nakasanayang kaibuturan ng tahanan, naisip ni Dr. Lazaro sa lalim ng gabi na katulad ng ibang bagay, tulad ng pag-ibig, kulang ang panahon. Ngunit ang kislap ng madaling nawala, inilibing sa ulop ng walng-pagkabahala at atok na umaalsa sa utak niya.

Isinalin ni Rosalinda Flores Martinez
DSLU, MFACREA 2002/3, Dr. Zeus Zalazar
Posted by author for
September 17, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Four Seasons with GOD

Four Seasons with GOD

Dear God, dear God
I give you myself
Split from skull to toe
Hold me

I give you myself
My hands and the work I do
Hold me
Talk my thoughts

My hands and the work I do
Let bloom like yellow flowers in spring
Talk my thoughts
A plethora of honey threads

Let bloom like yellow flowers in spring
Because I miss golden autumn
A plethora of honey threads
And breezy humming mountain

Because I miss golden autumn
When dancing ripples cup my tears
And breezy humming mountain
Waiting winter earth’s arm to hug like twin hearts

When dancing ripples cup my tears
How magnificent boats of pearls and seashells
Waiting winter earth’s arm to hug like twin hearts
Where we’d go summer dear God?

How magnificent boats of pearls and seashells
Seasons of life like melons and ponds of fruity icy cream
Where we’d go summer dear God?
Kiss me in prayers and hymn of love

Seasons of life like melons and ponds of fruity icy cream
Are you beside me dear God?
Kiss me in prayers and hymn of love
Till the time my breath fades and bones pound to ash

Are you beside me dear God?
Sweet four seasons a life dance
Till the time my breath fades and bones pound to ash
Never let go

Sweet four seasons a life dance
God hold me
Never let go
I give you myself.

Rose Flores Martinez
4:10pm, Wednesday

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thoughts: The Adding Machine

August 19, 2010



Have You Ever Thought How Garbage Boys Survive?

The garbage truck was in front of the cab I was on a few days ago.

The traffic gave me a picture of how garbage collectors work on their assigned task to serve us.

I thought they were on to penance because the work they do is literally “dirty.”

Of course, as compared to the hospital/medical staff who treat infections and diseases; dirt and stinking barrels of dirt are loathsome.

What do you think, how do their kids hug them? Have you ever worried for them? They have to be given protection against all the dirt of the world. These good workers deserve to be thanked for

In other countries, garbage collectors are paid well. How about in the Philippines…. (private or government garbage employees) how are they treated?

In my case, I think dirt ---- attracts diseases like stomach disorders, allergy, and lung problems, among others. Take for example the killer flu virus, and those objects that are habitat of germs (fomites)?

Doctors recommend washing thoroughly with soap and water.


I have thought about Elmer Rice play “The Adding Machine.” An alienation exemplified by Zero who worked as bookkeeper in a department store. His work has dried up his humanity making him incapable of love, friendships and other emotions.


What is a thought?

Thinking signifies everything that you say is “in our heads” or that “goes through our minds.”

It is a matter not directly perceived and could always change. Oftentimes you would say, “I just thought of it.”

Thoughts can be important as the award in kindergarten like the “Most Thoughtful Student.” And sometimes, not important as “Never mind, it doesn’t matter.” How the brain works is a gift and a tool of making thoughts/ideas concrete. Thinking is powerful when you work at it (small miracles), and can be destructive with malice like the curse of a witch. Good thoughts are necessary for success but tragic as a downfall of a wicked endeavor (karma). The earth will ask payment with interest pulling every pound of wickedness, including sacrificial lambs.

Positive, clean, and helpful thoughts will triumph in the end; in the promise of God.

Good thoughts and wishes are considered to be an offering to God, and can be acts of prayer transforming all wrath to peace and love. Nothing and no one can contest God.

I usually ponder on this from the Holy Bible, and get power from God’s promises in the hope that Jesus Christ is always near.

“Give me a clean heart O God.”

“God’s thoughts are as high as the heaven, and man or any other creature cannot know about it. But all things work out together for good for those who love God and obey His commandments.”

“I am thinking of you.

I am thinking of God.

What comes to me now is the work I do.

My wish is to create something beautiful.

My words are my presents for you.” RoseVoc2

IWroteFiction, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Great Ideas And Fairy Tale Stories

Great Ideas and Fairy Tale Stories

Life’s lesson are taught in various ways. Stories are one way to share ideas, beliefs, entertainment, information, and life struggles. Fairy tales are stories that mark inspiring and intelligent literature for all.

History shows that fiction story writers are people with profound depth and goodness in their hearts. Readers have to find out the moral value of the story. Thank God for the beautiful stories and the writers who help us see life, with hope and faith that goodness saves man.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (as retold)
The Shoemaker and the Elves by Sue Ullstein
Pinnochio by Carlo “Collodi” Lorenzini
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” features Nicholas Cage and Jay Baruchel in a fairy tale based story this 2010.

There are revisions and new ideas. For one fiction story to create effects and highlight, modifications are made. Virtues are highlighted in the films.

In the end the village boy triumphs with the magic, and helps his village/community with his bird friend to get good harvests.

The Shoemaker and the Elves

Stories are woven to show the beauty of life in simple things. The poor shoemaker works hard in his old age (and with his wife), then creates the finest shoes in their village.

The elves help them because they are a good couple who works hard. The wife makes clothes for the elves and there is sharing and support in the old couple and the elves.

Life is sharing in whatever form, and with everyone else.


The Pinocchio story is the puppet (turned-real boy), who lies and gets his nose longer because of lying. Kids love the animation of this story. I could recall the toy stories in the movies where everything moves.

After the troubles, Pinocchio becomes a good boy and stays out of trouble. Again the virtue of goodness and honesty are shown.

The Little Match Girl

How lovely! But this story is a sad story of a poor little girl forced by a bad parent to sell matches in the cold snowy night. Another heartless boy robs her shoes.

The little match girl comes freezing to death in the snow while working. The symbols used in the story are vivid and deeply touching the heart.

In the end the little match girl dies and gets reunited with her grandmother to join with God.

Here we can see the abused children molested to do adult duties. While they are supposed to study and enjoy life, some people abuse them.

Children are angels, we have to help them live and enjoy life.

Rosalinda Flores – Martinez

More Stories for Children (and Adults)

More Stories for Children (and Adults)

Fairy tales carve lessons in life. From the young heart of a child to the matured heart of the adult: everyone seek goodness, happy endings and triumph in truth.

The Ugly Duckling (as retold)
King Midas and His Golden Touch by Homer
Cinderella by Charles Perrault
The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen

The Ugly Duckling

An amazing story of a duck! Kids and everyone loves ducks. This famous ugly duckling turns out to be one of the most beautiful creatures of the earth.

This story shows that people need to belong and that no one is ugly. Only that we are the same in some ways, and different in other ways. Ducks like people have to know where to find happiness and goals. The duck sees himself “very beautiful” in the water; then in the water he finds his new family.

King Midas and His Golden Touch

An amazing story for kids full of curiosity! The picture of gold comes to be prominent and readers appreciate the simple story scenes looking like real pictures. This gives an easy lesson one couldn’t forget about “greed.”

This is another myth story. It’s about the god of Happiness “Bacchus” and a king in ancient Greece, who turns everything he touches into gold, even food and his beloved daughter. Later, King Midas begs for his daughter to become human again, giving away his love for gold. Literally, “away with gold!”

Homer, indeed, gives one of his best in this inspiring story.

In “Literary Criticism,” subjects the recall factor of “the girl with the golden eyes,” becomes vivid in the story for whatever connection it can present with culture and the readers.


One of the best fairy-tale stories ever told that marks happiness in kids and adults. Imagine the wicked stepmother and the two stepsisters who mistreat Cinderella (she is the real child of the father of the house). Her good fairy Godmother guides and helps her to attend a ball riding a very beautiful carriage (animal friends of Cinderella).

Cinderella becomes the center of attraction in the ball showing to be a real beauty. The prince falls in love with her. The glass-slippers become an unforgettable symbol, showing that truth can never fail and goodness will prevail in the end.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Laugh out loud! How full of wisdom, the writer of this story carves out this golden idea! Imagine a naked emperor in a parade! When I was I young girl, I couldn’t stop laughing at this and thought how people could be fools if they don’t stand firm in truth and principles.

Christian Andersen weaves an imaginary beautiful clothing of flattery in the story. The young boy full of honesty comes out bravely to tell everyone the truth.

Truth will always win out; and someone (pure in heart) maybe, from the simple crowd will be brave to uncover lies.

Rosalinda Flores – Martinez

The Fairy Tale Stories

The Fairy Tale Stories

Fairy tales are imaginary stories. They do not exactly mean “there are fairies” but some kids and even adults associate these stories with magic, a big triumph of the characters, beautiful fairies, and life wonders. Sometimes they could be some fables and would involve animal and nature stories. The classification is huge for different cultures.

Let us peep into Storyland:

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by the Grimm Brothers
The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde
Snow White and Rose Red by the Grimm Brothers

1. Alice in Wonderland is a famous fairy tale. It was even filmed and shown this 2010.

This girl Alice dreams of going into another land through a hole. In Wonderland she meets talking cats , rabbits, a caterpillar and other animals. In Wonderland, everything comes to be awesome: the beautiful garden, the odd funny characters, magic beyond life and where you eat something there will be changes in sizes. Alice becomes bigger and smaller just by eating cake and drinking some potion. The queen of hearts is a fascinating character, as well.

Johnny Depp starrs in the movie as the “Madhatter.”

2. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

This story gives the idea of the wicked witch, the symbolic red apple, and the kind seven dwarves who are Snow White’s best of friends. From the magic mirror that’s full of magic and which shows the vanity of the stepmother, poor Snow White becomes part of the dwarf family. The dwarves are not-good looking creatures but their hearts are better than those people who deceive using beauty and influence.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest one of all?”

Kids learn from the genuine love of the prince and the kindness of the dwarves.

3. The Selfish Giant

The idea of this story inculcates to children what Jesus really is, what God can be. How meek and kind, he can be as a boy. The selfish giant and his beautiful garden is enliven - the time the giant becomes a friend of the children. The selfish giant changes to be generous upon knowing the humble Christ. This creates wonder especially when the giant dies with a smile on his face. What’s God like? That even the giants and kings bow to him ?

4. Snow White and Rose Red

Snow White and Rose Red are sisters brought up by their mother to be good daughters/children.

When a bear knocks at their door, they help the bear which turned into a handsome prince. Later the prince marries Snow White, and Rose Red marries the prince’s brother. The two girls help the bear without waiting for any reward; but usually “Kindness reaps its fruits,” and “Goodness gets its rewards.”

Rosalinda Flores - Martinez

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Creative Writing

Creative Writing

When I hear about creative writing, I feel as though lighting had struck and stones would turn into toads or diamonds, just like the fairy tale I read when I was young.

Creative writing is sort of happy-ending fairy tales and sad fiction stories that trigger blood out of flesh and broken bones.

Of course, the mechanics of writing can be taught, but creating something is another story. You cannot teach someone how to be an artist. But you can always help someone write better.

What is Creative Writing?

From an ordinary writer’s point of view - creative writing is the art of writing embodied in various genres of literature: poems, fiction, and nonfiction among others.

It deals with writing, and more than just writing, because it is creating something beautiful. It is more than just words, but using correct metaphors, nurturing a style; and maybe… the urge of a writing vocation that carries hard labor. Money? Never.

Many writers aspire to be creative writers, and we don’t know if we are one. Time would judge. And maybe, some mark in the core of the writer’s being and an endowment.

“An odd feeling,” other writers say. You cannot boast “Hey, I’m a creative writer!” Other writers will surely laugh at you because the term itself connotes pride. If others will say “He/She is a creative writer,” then be thankful. But try not to say, “I am a creative writer.” However, you may say “I’m into creative writing.” This can be an attempt and can give some confidence.

Try to ask a poet how he/she writes.

Ask a fiction story writer how he creates his characters.

Ask a dramatist.

Ask a feature writer (creative nonfiction with a sense of style, etc.).

Or read the scribble of someone who did not study writing, but can express words in paper; beautifully; after a series of attempts.

Paul Horgan says in his book Approaches to Writing, “Some masterpieces are born of observations; others of intuition. The first will ordinarily tell about the author; the second, about everyone else.”

Creative Writing is a task of life, more than just writing. It must embody learning logs and give the readers value for their reading time, at least some kind of pleasure, meekness or motivation.

Paul Horgan adds “We begin to “create” when we see everyone else in ourselves.”

“In writing, there are two levels of professionalism: one the lower – is based on ambition driven by competitiveness; the other is based solely on fulfilling a vision in word and overall design, without regard to what anyone else is writing or publishing.”

Rose Flores – Martinez

Monday, July 12, 2010

Would You Like to Write A SHort Story?

Would You Like To Write a Short Story?

Would you like to write a short story? Would you like to write fiction?

The short story is a fiction story.

Normally the short story is between 1000-5000 words. A selling length is 3000 words. It is concerned with a single episode only. There must be brevity of time, characters, description, characterization, dialogue, incident, yet its content must be vivid with life.

The short story differs from the “short kiddie story.” Its treatment must be intense and characterization should be sharp.

According to Guy De Maupassant, “The serious writer’s goal is not only to entertain but to move us, to make us understand the deep and hidden meaning of events.”

Here are the elements of a short story:

1. Plot The plot is a sequence of events.

It begins with an exposition, then rising action (dramatization of events), climax (breaks off dramatically at this point), then falling action proceeding to resolution, and then the conclusion.

Plot shows: Then what happened? Story must involve a conflict of opposing forces.

2.Characters Characters are the people that make something happen. It is based on real people. However, fictional characters make different demand on the reader.

3.Setting The setting is the place and time of the story, the world in which the story takes place; a world of feeling.

4.Point of View This will be the authors choice of narration.

first person narration I
second person narration You
third person narration (narrator in not a participant in the story) It is like the omniscient author seeing into the minds of all the characters.

6.Style and Voice The voice is an essential element to all good fiction. It is how the author uses language to create fiction (rhetoric)

7.Symbolism and allegory Symbols are not always interpreted the same way by different readers.

The story becomes an allegory when all characters, places, things, and events represent symbolic qualities. Their interactions are meant to reveal a moral truth.

8. Theme It is the main idea of anything. The generalization about the meaning of a story.

Good fiction examines the truth.

Leo Tolstoy tells a friend:

“The most important thing in the work of art is that it should have a kind of focus, there should be some place where all the rays meet of form which they issue. And this focus must not be able to be explained in world. This indeed is one of the significant fact about true word of art – that its content in it entirety can be expressed only by itself.”

Check out for my short story “Net Chat” by Rose Flores Martinez in “

Rose Flores – Martinez

I Wrote Fiction: The Color of Life

Fiction stories are those stories that add color to life. These are the stories you have wanted to happen, an episode in your life you didn’t like, or something you could have wished on this planet or yonder paradise. The expressed and mute chanting of your heart becomes real in fiction.

I wrote fiction. I have wanted to make a small world of my own imaginations (dull and exciting), cravings, and abhorrence. Fiction stories create in me a goddess, of which I am not. Fiction creates in me life, of which I can bring back the dead to life. Fiction stories, I believe are God’s gift to human creations to fill the gaps of yesterday and today, of the life now and heaven, a link of time and space to immortality.

Let us run through five-fiction story exerpts and their authors:

1. The Dead James Joyce (1882- 1941)

Born in a suburb of Dublin during a turbulent era of political change in Ireland

“O, I am thinking about that song, The Lass of Aughrim.

So she had had that romance in her life: A man had died for her sake. It hardly pained him now to think him, a part he, her husband , had played in her life…”

2. The Blue Jar Isak Denisen

Pseudonym Isak - meaning “the one who laughs” in the spirit of saying GOD loves a joke.”

Isak isthe name under which baroness Karen Blixen of Denmark (1885-1962) published her writings

“…Now I can die. And when I am dead you will cut out my heart and lay it in a blue jar. For then everything will be as it was then. All shall be blue around me, and in the midst of the blue world of my heart will be innocent and free, and will gently, like a wake that sings, like drops that fall from and oar blade.”

3. Hills Like White Elephant Earnest Hemingway (1898-1961)

Born in Oak Park, Illinois

“Anis del Toro. It’s a drink.”

“Could we try it?”

The man called “Listen” through the curtain. The woman came out from the bar.

“Four reales.”

“We want two Anis del Toro.”

4. The House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros

Cisneros collections represent the writer’s attempt to achieve both the intensity of the short story and the discursive light of the novel within a single volume

Unlike the chapters of most works, each story in the collection could stand on its own.

“You live there?” a nun from her school had marked when seeing Esperanza playing in front of the flat on Loomis. “There I had to look where she pointed the third floor, the painted reeling…. wooden bars Papa had nailed on the windows so we wouldn’t fall out. You live there?” The way she said it made me feel like nothing…

5. Scent of Apples Bienvenido Santos (1911-1996)

“His stories capture with warmth and deep humility the pain of exile and the cost of progress…” Washington Post

Filipino-American fictionist. He lived in the United States for many years where he is credited as a pioneering Asian-American writer. In 1946, he returned to the Philippines to become a teacher and university administrator.

“ Bievenido Santos Creative Writing Center,” De La Salle University, Manila Philippines

6. The Execution Charlson Ong This story won several prizes for short fiction (Woman of Am-Kaw and Other Stories)

It was raining the morning of execution. I remember how brackish and crimson was the sky. God has sliced open the sun, spilling its innards, carving out its heart…”

Rose Flores - Martinez

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Karol Wojtyla: Love is Faceless

Karol Wojtyla: Love is Faceless

“Love is faceless,” this teaching makes me remember Karol Wojtyla. Karol Wojtyla is Pope John Paul II.

During his visit to the Philippines, I was one to witness the power of the Pope gathering people peacefully. I was the enthusiastic PR writer trying to get an experience of an event, something to gossip about celebrations. But this idea didn’t make sense. What I saw was a huge crowd without any panic and “no pushing.” The crowd was totally calm and disciplined. I supposed it was really “Tell the world of His love, of God’s love.”

That was 1995, during the World Youth Day in the Philippines. Then in the year 2000, at the Manila Cathedral was the “Blessing of the Door” and some relics of St. Therese; the Pope came back.

What was it with Pope John Paul II? Of course, like the other Popes: they are the messengers of God to the world, like angels. This will be easy for everybody to understand as everybody embeds an innocent heart when in front of faith. The Holy Spirit shows the way of light to all the questions that can be raised.

At the bookstore, in another encounter, I got one of the Pope’s book “Easter Vigil and Other Poems.” This book gave another sort of power to me: that thing we can call comfort when in trouble; and in my case, someone was dying.

Recently, I thought I couldn’t understand any book watching someone go. In the hospital, on a Friday night I wrote:

Sacred Heart Day:

I am consoled by this book

of Pope John Paul II

This is my companion for today

Seeing someone waiting for

death is a challenge of

this evening

Time passes, and every

minute and hour of grace

is a gift from God

for purification

and prayer

of the living

of the dead,

Jesus, we trust in You. /Rose5.14.10

Also, on CTV by Vatican Radio, that time there was a TV Mass in Portugal (in Fatima) celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI. I was so happy and I told my mother “We are lucky, to hear a holy mass now. Don’t be afraid, it is Pope Benedict XVI giving the blessings.”

Pope Benedict XVI said, “ Thank you for your sharing and the witness of your faith.” This gave peace on a deathbed.

Truly, miracles happen everyday. Love travels fast, cares for everyone alive and dead. As love is a manifestation of God’s presence, we shall not be afraid.

Rosalinda Flores Martinez
June 3, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Confessions: Writing a Love Letter

Confession: Writing a Love Letter

You need to rake your heart and see the beauty of how honest a love can be. You cannot lie when you write a love letter because it is about love. Love can’t cheat. Love is something beautiful and pure for everyone. It is prudent. Love is a gift from God that ought to be given away and takes nothing else.

Love letters share a bond of happiness for the sender and the receiver. If so, the writing task becomes meaningful and complete.

I. Let me share my writing confessions to God during my younger years.

Sample 1.

February 18, 1983

Dear God,

I just “wanna” let you know that I love you above anyone else.

I will live my life through your commandments and plans for me.

My Father, it’s enough to have you always with me…

I love you.

Your daughter,
Rosalinda (Rose)

Sample 2.

Jesus, I love you above all!

Help me to want your every will

So that You’ll not be sad.

II. Style and Structure

The structure of a love letter is the same as an ordinary or special letter. It has a date, a salutation, a body, a closing and a signature. The style varies. Often, the style is free and can sound poetic. Sometimes the words are rhythmic like a beating heart that talks.

After writing the love letter, you will feel happy and contented. But before the write process, a feeling of restlessness and zealous ambition wait to be fulfilled.

A love letter is a thorough confession. It may sound like fiction because it is an ideal honest to goodness documented conversation. How can one lie with the feeling of love, inspiration, and goodwill?

The love letter is a separate entity from the person if it involves poetry, but specifically it is the being; the “guru” of pen and blank sheet.

III.Falling in Love

Visit the (my) E-book at titled, “Falling In Love on the Net,” by Rosalinda Flores Martinez (

The book is a fiction story made up of letters.

Writing a story by means of letters (Epistolary) is as old as the novel itself (check out Samuel Richardson, “Pamela and Clarissa”). This style usually requires a certain amount of time for the reader to settle to the story; nevertheless, stories in this form have been successful.

“Falling in Love” is a story of email exchanges between an Englishman (Kieth) and a Filipina (Ashra) in a love that came intense like “Romeo and Juliet,” but not tragic in the end. The e-book uses a simple language suited for everyone, especially for non-native speakers.

The internet as milieu of the story fits the global community in today’s culture of emails like Google mails, Yahoo mails, and MSN.

Also, check out “I shall write” and “I wrote fiction” blogs or visit

Rose flores martinez

Monday, April 26, 2010

Faith, Love, Time and Dr. Lazaro

February 6, 2010


By: Greg Brillantes

From the upstairs veranda, Dr. Lazaro had a view of stars, the country darkness, the lights on the distant highway at the edge of town. The phonograph in the sala played Chopin – like a vast sorrow controlled, made familiar, he had wont to think. But as he sat there, his lean frame in the habitual slack repose took after supper, and stared at the plains of night that had evoked gentle images and even a kind of peace (in the end, sweet and invincible oblivion), Dr. Lazaro remembered nothing, his mind lay untouched by any conscious thought, he was scarcely aware of the April heat; the pattern of music fell around him and dissolved swiftly, uncomprehended. It was as though indifference were an infection that had entered his blood it was everywhere in his body. In the scattered light from the sala his angular face had a dusty, wasted quality, only his eyes contained life. He could have remained there all evening, unmoving, and buried, it is were, in a strange half-sleep, had his wife not come to tell him he was wanted on the phone.

Gradually his mind stirred, focused; as he rose from the chair he recognized the somber passage in the sonata that, curiosly, made him think of ancient monuments, faded stone walls, a greyness. The brain filed away an image; and arrangement of sounds released it… He switched off the phonograph, suppressed and impatient quiver in his throat as he reached for the phone: everyone had a claim on his time. He thought: Why not the younger ones for a change? He had spent a long day at the provincial hospital.

The man was calling from a service station outside the town – the station after the agricultural high school, and before the San Miguel bridge, the man added rather needlessly, in a voice that was frantic yet oddly subdued and courteous. Dr. Lazaro thad heard it countless times, in the corridors of the hospitals, in waiting rooms: the perpetual awkward misery. He was Pedro Esteban, the brother of the doctor’s tenant in Nambalan, said the voice, trying to make itself less sudden remote.

But the connection was faulty, there was a humming in the wires, as though darkness had added to the distance between the house in the town and the gas station beyond the summer fields. Dr. Lazaro could barely catch the severed phrases. The man’s week-old child had a high fever, a bluish skin; its mouth would not open to suckle. They could not take the baby to the poblacion, they would not dare move it; its body turned rigid at the slightest touch. If the doctor would consent to come at so late an hour, Esteban would wait for him at the station. If the doctor would be so kind…

Tetanus of the newborn: that was elementary, and most likely it was so hopeless, a waste of time. Dr. Lazaro said yes, he would be there; he had committed himself to that answer, long ago; duty had taken the place of an exhausted compassion. The carelessness of the poor, the infected blankets, the toxin moving toward the heart: they were casual scribbled items in a clinical report. But outside the grilled windows, the night suddenly seemed alive and waiting. He had no choice left now but action: it was the only certitude – he sometimes reminded himself – even if it would prove futile, before, the descent into nothingness.

His wife looked up from her needles and twine, under the shaded lamp of the bedroom; she had finished the pullover for the grandchild in Bagiuo and had begun work, he noted, on another of those altar vestments for the parish church. Religion and her grandchild certainly kept her busy … She looked at him, into so much to inquire as to be spoken to: a large and placid woman.

“Shouldn’t have let the drive go home so early,” Dr. Lazaro said. “They had to wait till now to call … Child’s probably dead…”

“Ben can drive for you.”

“I hardly see that boy around the house. He seems to be on vacation both from home and in school.”

“He’s downstairs,” his wife said.

Dr. Lazaro put on fresh shirt, buttoned it with tense, abrupt motions, “I thought he’d gone out again… Who’s that girl he’s been seeing?...It’s not just warm, it’s hot. You should’ve stayed on in Baguio… There’s disease, suffering, death, because Adam ate the apple. They must have an answer to everything… “He paused at the door, as though for the echo of his words.

Mrs. Lazaro had resumed the knitting; in the circle of yellow light, her head bowed, she seemed absorbed in some contemplative prayer. But her silences had ceased t disturb him, like the plaster saints she kept in the room, in their cases of glass, or that air she wore of conspiracy, when she left with Ben for Mass in the mornings. Dr. Lazaro would ramble about miracle drugs, politics, music, the common sense of his unbelief; unrelated things strung together in a monologue; he posed questions, supplied with his own answers; and she would merely nod, with an occasional “Yes?” and “Is that so?” and something like a shadow of anxiety in her gaze.

He hurried down the curving stairs, under the votive lamps of the Sacred Heart. Ben lay sprawled on the sofa, in the front parlor; engrossed in a book, one leg propped against the back cushions. “Come along, we’re going somewhere,” Dr. Lazaro said, and went into the clinic for his medical bag. He added a vial of penstrep, an ampule of caffeine to the satchel’s content’s; rechecked the bag before closing it; the cutgut would last just one more patient. One can only cure, and know nothing beyond one’s work… There had been the man, today, in the hospital: the cancer pain no longer helped by the doses of morphine; the patients’s eyes flickering their despair in the eroded face. Dr. Lazaro brushed aside the stray vision as he strode out of the whitewashed room; he was back in his element, among syringes, steel instruments, quick decisions made without emotion, and it gave him a kind of blunt energy.

I’ll drive, Pa?” Ben followed him through the kitchen, where the maids were ironing the week’s wash, gossiping, and out to the yard shrouded in the dimness of the single bulb under the eaves. The boy push back the folding doors of the garage and slid behind the wheel.

“Somebody’s waiting at the gas station near San Miguel. You know the place?”

“Sure,” Ben said.

The engine sputtered briefly and stopped. “Battery’s weak,” Dr. Lazaro said. “Try it without the lights,” and smelled the gasoline overflow as the old Pontiac finally lurched around the house and through the trellised gate, its front sweeping over the dry dusty street.

But he’s all right, Dr. Lazaro thought as they swung smoothly into the main avenue of the town, past the church and the plaza, the kiosko bare for once in a season of fiestas, the lam-posts shining on the quiet square. They did not speak; he could sense his son’s concentration on the road, and he noted, with a tentative amusement, the intense way the boy sat behind the wheel, his eagerness to be of help. They passed the drab frame houses behind the marketplace, and the capitol building on its landscaped hill, the gears shifting easily as they went over the railroad tracks that crossed the asphalted street.

Then the road was pebbled and uneven, the car bucking slightly; and they were speeding between open fields, a succession of narrow wooden bridges breaking the crunching drive of the wheels. Dr. Lazaro gazed at the wide darkness around them, the shapes of trees and bushes hurling toward them and sliding away and he saw the stars, hard glinting points of light yards, black space, infinite distances; in the unmeasured universe, man’s life flared briefly and was gone, traceless in the void. He turned away from the emptiness. He said: “You seem to have had a lot of practice, Ben.”

“A lot of what, Pa?”

“The ways you drive. Very professional.”

In the glow of the dashboard lights, the boy’s face relaxed, smiled. “Tio Cesar let me use his car, in Manila. On special occasions.”

“No reckless driving now,” Dr. Lazaro said. “Some fellows think it’s smart. Gives them a thrill. Don’t be like that.”

“No, I won’t, Pa. I just like to drive and – and go place, that’s all.”

Dr. Lazaro watched the young face intent on the road, a cowlick over the forehead, the mall curve of the nose, his own face before he left to study in another country, a young student of full illusions, a lifetime ago; long before the loss of faith, God turning abstract, unknowable, and everywhere, it seemed to him, those senseless accidents of pain. He felt a need to define unspoken things, to come closer somehow to the last of his sons; one of these days, before the boy’s vacation was over, they might to on a picnic together, a trip to the farm; a special day for the two of them – father and son, as well as friends. In the two years Ben had been away in college, they had written a few brief, almost formal letters to each other: your money is on the way, these are the best years, make the most of them…

Time was moving toward them, was swirling around and rushing away and it seemed Dr. Lazaro could almost hear its hallow receding roar; and discovering his son’s profile against the flowing darkness, he had a thirst to speak. He could not find what it was he had meant to say.

The agricultural school buildings came up in the headlights and glided back into blurred shapes behind a fence.

“What was that book you were reading, Ben?”

“A biography,” the boy said.

“Statesman? Scientist maybe?”

It’s about a guy who became a monk.”

“That’s your summer reading?” Dr. Lazaro asked with a small laugh, half mockery, half affection. “You’re getting to be a regular saint, like your mother.”

“It’s an interesting book,” Ben said.

“I can imagine…” He dropped the bantering tone. “I suppose you’ll go on to medicine after your AB?”

“I don’t know yet, Pa.”

Tiny moth like blown bits of paper flew toward the windshield and funneled away above them. “You don’t have to be a country doctor like me, Ben. You could build up a good practice in the city. Specialized in cancer, maybe or neuro-surgery, and join a good hospital.” It was like trying to recall some rare happiness, in the car, in the shifting darkness.

“I’ve been thinking about it,” Ben said. It’s a vocation, a great one. Being able to really help people, I mean.”

“You’ve done well in math, haven’t you?”

“Well enough, I guess,” Ben said.

Engineering is a fine course too, “ Dr. Lazaro said. “There’ll be lots of room for engineers. Planners and builders, they are what this country needs. Far too many lawyers and salesmen these days. Now if your brother –“ He closed his eyes, erasing the slashed wrists, part of the future dead in a boarding-house room, the landlady whimpering, “He was such a nice boy, doctor, your son…” Sorrow lay in ambush among the years.

“I have all summer to think about, “ Ben said.

“There’s no hurry,” Dr. Lazaro said. What was it he had wanted to say? Something about knowing each other, about sharing; no, it was not that at all…

The stations appeared as they coasted down the incline of a low hill, its fluorescent lights the only brightness on the plain before them, on the road that led farther into deeper darkness. A freight truck was taking on a load of gasoline as they drove up the concrete apron and came to a stop beside the station shed.

A short barefoot man in a patchwork shirt shuffled forward to meet them.
I am Esteban, doctor,” the man said, his voice faint and hoarse, almost inaudible, and he bowed slightly with a careful politeness. He stood blinking, looking up at the doctor, who had taken his bag and flashlight form the car.

In the windless space, Dr. Lazaro could hear Esteban’s labored breathing, the clank of the metal nozzle as the attendant replaced it in the pump. The men in the truck stared at them curiously.

Esteban said, pointing at the darkness beyond the road: “We will have to go through those fields, doctor, then cross the river,” The apology for yet one more imposition was a wounded look in his eyes. He added, in his subdued voice: “It’s not very far…” Ben had spoken to the attendants and was locking the car.

The truck rumbled and moved ponderously onto the road, its throb strong and then fading in the warm night stillness.

“Lead the way, “ Dr. Lazaro said, handing Esteban the flashlight.

They crossed the road, to a cleft in the embankment that bordered the fields, Dr. Lazaro was sweating now in the dry heat; following the swinging ball of the flashlight beam, sorrow wounded by the stifling night, he felt he was being dragged, helplessly, toward some huge and complicated error, a meaningless ceremony. Somewhere to his left rose a flapping of wings, a bird cried among unseen leaves: they walked swiftly, and there was only the sound of the silence, the constant whirl of crickets and the whisper of their feet on the path between the stubble fields.

With the boy close behind him, Dr. Lazaro followed Esteban down a clay slope to the slope and ripple of water in the darkness. The flashlight showed a banca drawn up at the river’s edge. Esteban wade waist-deep into the water, holding the boat steady as Dr. Lazaro and Ben stepped on the board. In the darkness, with the opposite bank like the far rise of an island, Dr. Lazaro had a moment’s tremor of fear as the boar slide out over the black water; below prowled the deadly currents; to drown her in the dephts of the night… But it took only a minute to cross the river. “We’re here doctor,” Esteban said, and they padded p a stretch of sand to a clump of trees; a dog started to bark, the shadows of a kerosene lamp wavered at a window.

Unsteady on a steep ladder, Dr. Lazaro entered the cave of Esteban’s hut. The single room contained the odors he often encountered but had remained alien to, stirring an impersonal disgust: the sourish decay, the smells of the unaired sick. An old man greeted him, lisping incoherently; a woman, the grandmother, sat crouched in a corner, beneath a famed print of the Mother of Perpetual Help; a boy, about ten, slept on, sprawled on a mat. Esteban’s wife, pale and thin, lay on the floor with the sick child beside her.

Motionless, its tiny blue-tinged face drawn way from its chest in a fixed wrinkled grimace, the infant seemed to be straining to express some terrible ancient wisdom.

Dr. Lazaro made a cursory check – skin dry, turning cold; breathing shallow; heartbeat
fast and irregular. And I that moment, only the child existed before him; only the child and his own mind probing now like a hard gleaming instrument. How strange that it should still live, his mind said as it considered the spark that persisted within the rigid and tortured body. He was alone with the child, his whole being focused on it, in those intense minutes shaped into a habit now by so many similar instances: his physician’s knowledge trying to keep the heart beating, to revive an ebbing life and somehow make it rise again.

Dr. Lazaro removed the blankets that bundled the child and injected a whole ampule to check the tonic spasms, the needle piercing neatly into the sparse flesh; he broke another ampule, with deft precise movements , and emptied the syringe, while the infant lay stiff as wood beneath his hands. He wiped off the sweat running into his eyes, then holding the rigid body with one hand, he tried to draw air into the faltering lungs, pressing and releasing the chest; but even as he worked to rescue the child, the bluish color of its face began to turn gray.

Dr. Lazaro rose from his crouch on the floor, a cramped ache in his shoulders, his mouth dry. The lamplight glistened on his pale hollow face as he confronted the room again, the stale heat, the poverty. Esteban met his gaze; all their eyes were upon him, Ben at the door, the old man, the woman in the corner, and Esteban’s wife, in the trembling shadows.

Esteban said: “Doctor..”

He shook his head, and replaced the syringe case in his bag, slowly and deliberately, and fastened the clasp. T Here was murmuring him, a rustle across the bamboo floor, and when he turned, Ben was kneeling beside the child. And he watched, with a tired detached surprise, as the boy poured water from a coconut shell on the infant’s brow. He caught the words half-whispered in the quietness: “.. in the name of the Father.. the Son… the Holy Ghost…”

The shadows flapped on the walls, the heart of the lamp quivering before it settled into a slender flame. By the river dogs were barking. Dr. Lazaro glanced at his watch; it was close to midnight. Ben stood over the child, the coconut shell in his hands, as though wandering what next to do with it, until he saw his father nod for them to go.

Doctor, tell us – “Esteban took a step forward.

“I did everything: Dr. Lazaro said. “It’s too late –“

He gestured vaguely, with a dull resentment; by some implicit relationship, he was also responsible, for the misery in the room, the hopelessness. “There’s nothing more I can do, Esteban, “ he said. He thought with a flick of anger: Soon the child will be out of it, you ought to be grateful. Esteban’s wife began to cry, a weak smothered gasping, and the old woman was comforting her, it is the will of God, my daughter…”

In the yard, Esteban pressed carefully folded bills into the doctor’s hand; the limp, tattered feel of the money was sort of the futile journey, “I know this is not enough, doctor,” Esteban said. “as you can see we are very poor… I shall bring you fruit, chickens, someday…”

A late moon had risen, edging over the tops of the trees, and in the faint wash of its light, Esteban guided them back to the boat. A glimmering rippled on the surface of the water as they paddled across,; the white moonlight spread in the sky, and a sudden wind sprang rain-like and was lost in the tress massed on the riverbank.

“I cannot thank you enough, doctor,” Esteban said. “You have been very kind to come this far, at this hour.” He trail is just over there, isn’t it?” He wanted to be rid of the man, to be away from the shy humble voice, the prolonged wretchedness.

I shall be grateful always, doctor,” Esteban said. “And to you son, too. God go with you.” He was a faceless voice withdrawing in the shadows, a cipher in the shabby crowds that came to town on market days.

“Let’s go, Ben” Dr. Lazaro said.

They took the path across the field; around them the moonlight had transformed the landscape, revealing a gentle, more familiar dimension, a luminous haze upon the trees stirring with a growing wind; and the heat of the night had passed, a coolness was falling from the deep sky. Unhurried, his pace no more than a casual stroll, Dr. Lazaro felt the oppression of the night begin to life from him, an emotionless calm returned to his mind. The sparrow does not fall without the Father’s leave he mused at the sky, but it falls just the same. But to what end are the sufferings of a child? The crickets chirped peacefully in the moon-pale darkness beneath the trees.

“You baptized the child, didn’t you, Ben?”

“Yes, Pa.” The boy kept in the step beside him.

He used to believe in it, too. The power of the Holy Spirit washing away original sin, the purified soul made heir of heaven. He could still remember fragments of his boy hood faith, as one might remember an improbable and long-discarded dream.

“Lay baptism, isn’t that the name for it?”

“Yes,” Ben said. I asked the father. The baby hadn’t been baptized.” He added as they came to the embankment that separated the field from the road: “They were waiting for it to get well.”

The station had closed, with only the canopy light and the blobed neon sign left burning. A steady wind was blowing now across the filed, the moonlit plains.

He saw Ben stifle a yawn. I’ll drive,” Dr. Lazaro said.

His eyes were not what they used to be, and he drove leaning forward, his hands tight on the wheel. He began to sweat again, and the empty road and the lateness and the memory of Esteban and of the child dying before morning in the impoverished, lamplit room fused into tired melancholy. He started to think of his other son, one he had lost.

He said, seeking conversation, If other people carried on like you, Ben, the priests would be run out of business.”

The boy sat beside him, his face averted, not answering.

“Now, you’ll have an angel praying for you in heaven,” Dr. Lazaro said, teasing, trying to create an easy mood between the. “What if you hadn’t baptized the baby and it died? What would happen to it then?”

It won’t see God,” Ben said.

“But isn’t that unfair?” It was like riddle, trivial, but diverting. “Just because..”

“Maybe God has another remedy,” Ben said. “I don’t know. But the church says.”

He could sense the boy groping for the tremendous answers. “The Church teaches, the church says…. “ God: Christ: the communications of saints: Dr. Lazaro found himself wondering about the world of novenas and candles, where bread and wine became the flesh and blood of the Lord, and a woman bathed in light appeared before children, and mortal men spoke of eternal life; the visions of God, the body’s resurrection at the tend of time. It was a country from which he was barred; no matter – the customs, the geography didn’t appeal to him. But in the care suddenly, driving through the night, he was aware of an obscure disappointment, a subtle pressure around his heart, as though he had been deprived of a certain joy…

A bus roared around a hill toward, its lights blinding him, and he pulled to the side of the road, braking involuntarily as a billow of dust swept over the car. He had not closed the window on his side, and the flung dust poured in, the thick brittle powder almost choking him, making him cough, his eyes smarting, before he could shield his face with his hands. In the headlights, the dust sifted down and when the air was clear again, Dr. Lazaro, swallowing a taste of earth, of darkness, maneuvered the car back onto the road, his arms exhausted and numb. He drove the last half-mile to town in silence, his mind registering nothing but the frit of dust in his mouth and the empty road unwinding swiftly before him.

They reached the sleeping town, the desolate streets, the plaza empty in the moonlight, and the dhuddled shapes of houses, the old houses that Dr. Lazaro had always know. How many nights had he driven home like this through the quiet town, with a man’s life ended behind him, or a child crying newly risen from the womb; and a sense of constant motions, of change, of the days moving swiftly toward and immense reverlation touched him onced more, briefly, and still he could not find the words.. He turned the last corner, then steered the car down the graveled driveway to the garage, while Ben closed the gate. Dr. Lazaro sat there a momen, in the stillness, resting his eyes, conscious of the measured beating of his heart, and breathing a scent of dust that lingered on his clothes, his skin..SLowely he merged from the car, locking it, and went around the towere of the water-tank to the frotnyard where Ben Stood waiting.

With unaccustomed tenderness he placed a hand on Ben’s shoulder was they turned toward the ement –walled house. They had gone on a trip; they had come home safely together. He felt closer to the boy than he hade ever been in years.

“Sorry for ekeeping you up this late,” Dr. Lazaro said.

“It’s all right, Pa.”

Some night, huh, Ben? What you did back in that barrio” – ther was just the slightest patronage in this one –“ your momother will love to hear about it.”

He shook the boy beside him gently. “Reverend Father Ben Lazaro.”

The impulse of certain humor – it was part of the comradeship. He chuckled drowsily: father Lazaro, what must I do to gain eternal life?”

As he slid the door open on the vault of darkness, the familiar depth of the house, it came to Dr. Lazaro faitly in the late night that for certain things, like love there was only so much time. But the glimmer was lost instantly, buried in the mist of indifference and sleep rising now in his brain.

Posted by Rose Flores Martinez,iwrotefiction

this will be translated in Filipino by rosalinda flores martinez
project for a translation class, Dr. Zeus Salazar

Hansel and Gretel9