Mutya bares top-secret story for Lent

This is not a blog about disparaging comments on hotels, restaurants or erring personas who induced me with acute nausea. This is a story fitting for Holy week; a narration and a reflection of something that opened my eyes to the manifold realities of life on Earth.

More often than not, when I and Alfred engage into a conversation, the topic always leads to sex, health and, ultimately the cause of our total annihilation. I can say that you are interested to know more about these three popular topics but to honor the meaning of this blessed season, please let me narrate something you never heard of.

One time, when I was segregating the leaves of Malunggay and Spinach for our viand, I asked Alfred to reveal his greatest mistake in life.

I was afraid because he was holding a sharp knife slicing some frozen fish for dinner. Unlike Ms. Venus Raj, he immediately gave me an answer without circumnavigating.

“My greatest mistake happened during my elementary days when I haphazardly wasted the opportunity to study well, thus missing the wonders of education.”

He chopped the fish heavily.

I held my breath for a couple of seconds but I did not stop there. I dug deeper.

“What were the most difficult events you experienced when you were young? Mine for example was sleeping for two days with empty stomach.” I told him to kickstart the conversation.

I saw him adding too much salt to the boiling water.

“Three things.”, he started to recall.

“When I was young, I had no choice but to help my brothers to harvest corn. Up until now, I could still feel the searing pain when the leaves sliced my small palms. It was like blade after blade, slice after slice, until your whole hand numbs. The pain was excruciating for a 10-year old child whose dream during that time was only to play. I realized that pain is a twin brother of mine. My hands became rugged but strong. I knew God was preparing me for a tougher challenge—a second fruit.”

“Do you want to know the second fruit which changed my life?”, he asked.

“Yes!”, I answered.

“It’s inside the refrigerator. Get it for me.” I opened the fridge and I saw a pineapple.

It was during my second year when I first knew him. He was oozing with wit and a sensational style of leadership which won the heart of many. Aside from these were his skills in peeling the pineapple’s skin. After class hours, without delay, he run to the public market in order help his sister to prepare sliced fruits for their small store. He can remove the eyes of the fruit within one minute preserving its impeccable shape.

“I find it cool.”, I told him.

He looked at me fiercely.

“If being cool would mean having the piercing edges of the pineapple’s crown puncture your skin so deep and having your crotch soaked on the saccharine juice of this fruit for over five hours every day then I would agree with your conclusion.”

I stepped back and returned to my sit. I was wrong.

He minced the pineapple and he dropped it in the mixture. Then, he tasted it it.

“It lacks something. Something sour.” He was referring to the green mango.

I remembered when he told me that there was a time when he climbed a mango tree to harvest its fruits.

Despite the scorching heat of the sun and the pricking bite ants crawling from the his upper torso, he was passionately determined to pick the most unblemished mango he could reach. A wounded mango can’t be sold in the market.

I handed him the green mango. He peeled it perfectly.

I realized then that he taught me one of the biggest lessons in life using the three fruits that formed his being.

Without hard work, dedication and the passion to make seemingly difficult things happen, one can’t change his path and be the person he wanted to become.

Poverty became a popular obstacle and an excuse for many not to pursue reaching for our stars, but the three fruits my friend showed me concretely illustrated that great things are possible for those who learn to endure the suffering and to deduce lessons from it.

While the leaves of the corn wounded his palms, he did not threw his aspiration to become someone who can make a difference to the lives of others, the burning charcoal which he used to cook the corn did not stop him to seek for easy comfort.

The crown of the pineapple was perceived by him as a destination and every thorn which deeply and mercilessly pierced his skin was a reminder that suffering is necessary to hone and to exercise our humanity. The mango on the other hand, thought us to choose only the best.

These three fruits when mixed in one container will make an excellent dish worthy of emulation and inspiration. The next time you come across a corn, a pineapple and a mango, please be thankful on what you have and don’t you dare surrender your stars. As you bite these three fruits, remember the journey of my friend Alfred.



It’s time for PH bloggers to unite.

A tremendous power lies within the keyboard of Filipino bloggers if only they will accept each others arms and form the Philippine Blogging Federation-a legit and legally binding alliance that will strengthen the blogging force in the country.

Blogging is an art; it is also a political and social weapon–depending on the bloggers purpose. It has the power to create and destroy negative beliefs, traditions and notions, even a single blog can change the status quo of a certain department or institution if designed and supported accordingly. Like the mainstream media, blogs carry information that affect and influence the lives of the reading public. Each blogger can affect hundreds to thousands and millions of minds in one reading.

In order to encourage blogging in the country, in order to gain that significant image; bloggers should orchestrate a unified voice to deliver what the country wants.

Bloggers are sensitive , private and highly intellectual personas, it could be anyone, from your friend to your seatmate in crowded MRT and jeepneys. The state should identify this bloggers and provide them the care and attention, just the same as the privilege given to the popular media.

To blog is to share your thoughts, and if we share our thoughts collectively, imagine the impact that we can create. We can help advance agenda of the government, we can protect the rights of the public, and we can educate and inspire our people.

Now is the right time to unite, since change is really coming.



Photo from:


#Mutya: A sad reminder to all airline companies in the Philippines.

This is only a sad reminder to all airline companies in the Philippines.

If you can’t handle our luggage carefully and with due respect to our belongings, then be honest, so that we can use, metal covered bags, which could prevent molestation, from the heavy and inconsiderate hands of your ground personnel.

I am a constant patron. I love to fly.

Last Saturday, we took the morning flight from Iloilo to Manila. We chose the airline which is known to provide excellent service to passengers. I have no bitter feelings before that event, aside of course, to some delayed departure and arrivals, which I understand, not their fault. Airport in the Philippines are congested. Only in the Philippines where airplanes are falling in line with passengers on board, wasting their time waiting for the plane to fly, one by one. The airport is starting to become the streets of EDSA.

It was a smooth flight, as expected but not until I witnessed how the porters handled the bags. They were throwing it on the carousel without regards to the contents of the luggage– which possessed my humanity. They seemed that they were in a hurry. I could see them through the rubber curtains near the carousel.

For instance, a guitar container, with a sticker labelled “FRAGILE”, was treated as if it contains cotton. The man threw the guitar, and I heard the high note from the strong impact. I closed my eyes and prayed that my bags would not end up with the same barbaric fate.

In addition, the precious bag of my office mate was very dirty. I don’t know what happened under the plane. I can speculate but I want concrete explanations. Also, the bag of our cameraman was severed. My bag was safe, but with scars from the claws of careless men. I swallowed my dismay, but, I’m sorry, I have to say this. I have to say that the airline disappointed me.

I believe that a person with a real heart of the Filipino will not destroy our bags.

Our bags are the extension of our being, of our existence. They are not merely leather or plastic, but it figuratively possess our skin, also, capable of feeling pain from your inhumane treatment.

The bags possess significant meaning and with imprints of happy experiences, from various travels and escapades, that when destroyed, will hurt our trusting feelings. If you are really the heart of the Filipino, please take good care for our bags. The care should include respect for our luggage.

Airline companies should admonish and teach its personnel about basic respect both to passengers and his/her belongings. It is more acceptable to have no snacks while on the air than handling our bags without dignity.

We don’t need your sky treats; we need your caring hands.

Now, since the damage has been done, I hope that airline companies should take necessary steps to ensure that passengers’ bags should be under the care of passionate and caring hands- a typical trait of a Filipino.

It takes common sense to perform basic luggage care, but the irony holds true, that if you can’t even treat non-living things with respect, then, what more should living things expect from you?

Don’t wait for people to associate your brand with hard, careless and destructive hands.

Because believe me, the bags are speaking, and I will echo this to you.


*photo not from the author.