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‘TIS THE SEASON . . .
Steering Committee Daisy Barawidan Lala David Sherry David Marita Legaspi Cecile Lowlicht Sol Oca Mike Palileo Emma Villa-Real
CHRISTMAS MEMORIES In these days surrounding Christmas we often think of those who have died. If someone close to us has died during the past year, we think, ―This is the first Christmas without them.‖
Marita Nadres Legaspi
is a dyed-in-the-wool Scholastican (GS ‘64, HS ‘69, Coll ‘73). She earned her LiaCom degree major in accounting three years after martial law was declared. As a student activist during those tumultuous years,
Communications Committee Rose Constantino Gilda Fule-Prael Sylvia C.Leonard Salve Neelankavil Ronie Nieva Giocky Oca Lulut Valte
But even if loved ones died long ago, we she learned first hand of the plight of the "other remember them in a special way at half"—or more accurately, of the other 90 per cent of Christmas. Philippine society that colegialas rarely see. She spent We also think of our childhood, of a lot of time with farmers and fellow activists during Christmas Eve and Christmas morning as a her undergraduate years yet still managed to graduate magna cum laude. She completed her MBA at the youngster with our family.
University of the Philippines.
We would do well to think of Mary and Jesus together on the great Jewish feasts after Joseph died. They would have remembered how they used to celebrate those wonderful days with him. On those days Mary surely missed her husband, whom she loved. And Jesus surely missed his father, whom he loved. On Christmas we can also think of Mary in the days after Jesus died. We don‘t know the date he was born, but Mary did, and she remembered it. She was probably in her late 40s when he died and each year afterward celebrated his birthday without her husband, and without her son.
Marita moved to the USA in 1975 and worked at the United Nations. The UN was a big change for her after working for private companies like Bancom, the Economic Development Foundation, and the Construction and Development Corporation of the Philippines. Occupying a high-level professional position, Marita is constantly on assignment around the world on behalf of the UN. In the course of her travels and assignments, she has collected many friends. Working at the UN has also allowed her to indulge the two favorite passions that she shares with her husband Leo: traveling and eating. Their children, Mark and Jay and daughter-in-laaw Cindy have all been infected by the Legaspi travel and eating bug. Marita’s and Leo’s household in New Jersey includes
Editors Mike Palileo Yvette Jarencio
Whomever you miss at Christmas. . . talk Marita's mother, Eufemia, who recently turned 80, and her Aunt Lily Lina. to Mary. She understands. [from the Fourth Sunday of Advent, The Little Blue Book 2009-2010]
Marita has been active at the helm of St Scholastica’s Alumnae Association East Coast since its inception in 1979. She has served as Treasurer of the alumnae group and is presently member of the Steering Committee. “She is the ace up our sleeve,” says fellow Steering Committee members. “SSAA East Coast is alive and well, thanks to active leaders like Marita.”
. . . TO BE JOLLY . . . and HOLY
SSAA EAST COAST HOLDS DAY OF RECOLLECTION TO HONOR THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
For the second year in a row St. Scholastica‘s Alumnae Association East Coast collaborated with the St Agnes‘ Legion of Mary (New York) in sponsoring a Marian Recollection to celebrate the feastday of the Immaculate Conception. It was held on December 5, 2009 at St Agnes Church on Lexington and 43rd. Retreatmaster for the morning session was Fr Richard Adams, pastor of St. Agnes parish. Fr Adams talked about Mary as the Model of Prayer. He then led the attendees to centering prayer as they went through their Bibles. In the afternoon session Fr Felix Jones from India gave some very interesting reflections on Mary as Mother, Sister, and Daughter. He then allowed the retreatants a moment to pray deeply, one on one with our Lord. To most of the participants, this was the highlight of the day. Scholasticans who attended were Pamela Balthazar Denning (HS '76), Rose Constantino (HS '67) (Lillian Ronquillo Gatchalian (HS '67), Grace Montelibano (Coll '68) and the Oca sisters Gioconda (HS ‗76), Charisse (HS '79), Blanca (HS'80), and Sol (HS '67). Malou Colina Gribbon (HS '80) summarized the feelings of the Scholasticans who attended the day of recollection: ―The day was a time to stop, to reflect on the time of Mary's Annunciation. The silence of prayer was profound.‖ [by Sol Oca] (CHS). Attendance was successful (more than 100 people attended) despite freezing temperatures outside. [by Sherry David]
2010 Golden Jubilarians Update
We are the 2010 golden jubilarians. There were 72 in our high school graduating class, six of whom have passed away. At first we had several classmates "missing in action" but only two have not been found. EVERYONE has done her share of tracking each other. Mini-reunions were held both in the East and West Coast USA. Ondes Hernandez, Cely Cruz, and Louie Carpio have been the mainstay of our preparations in Manila as well as many others. Ondes is overall chair. She attends the SSC Committee meetings and speaks on behalf of our class, coordinates class meetings, with Cely Cruz purchased and distributed our gown material, planned the balik-Kulasa Buddy, and has tried to get everyone to be of one mind but not one body since we now all come in all sizes and shapes. Louie has coordinated all write-ups and pictures and edits those who wish their stories edited. Cely Cruz has taken on the big task of Master Accountant. The goldies are performing a number in keeping with the theme "original Pilipino music" or OPM. Vicki AltavasArcega is already in Manila with her laptop, working day and night in the production of the golden jubilee souvenir book. She is art editor par excellence, she with the "magic mouse.‖ We are contributing pictures and short write-ups about each one's life since graduation. There will also be articles written about former teachers, ―do-youremembers,‖ aging gracefully, or just plain growing old! The class presentation is more or less a hardship for us since we belong to a generation where OPM was not in vogue but rather we crooned and listened to Ricky, Elvis, Pat Boone, and the Everly Brothers. For the performance we will be wearing satin and lace in gold, different styles, but of the same material. Besides the main event at St Cecilia's Hall, there will be rehearsals, out-of-town trips for the class, and possibly a dinner-dance on February 10 to culminate the events. Jasmin Enverga will print our Souvenir Book. Wina Velasco spent countless hours tracking down old classmates with letters and phone calls, with almost perfect results (only 2 unaccounted for). We all hope to have One Golden Happy Day in dear old SSC on February 7, 2010! by Golden Jubilarians Cora Villegas-Rosario (New Jersey) and Vicki Altavas-Arcega (West Coast) [SSC 60]
SSC EAST COAST CO-SPONSORS SIMBANG GABI AT PHILIPPINE CONSULATE
On December 10 at 6:30 pm in Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Consulate, the Coalition of Philippine Colleges and Schools sponsored its traditional Simbang Gabi Mass with its co-sponsor, the UN Philippine Cultural Society (UNPCS). Consul General Cecile Rebong welcomed the Simbang Gabi attendees. Tess Mojica (president of La Salle Alumni), also Simbang Gabi co-chair, greeted all those present in lieu of Vivian Cruz (chair of the event). Linden Martinez (president of Assumption Alumnae) served as acting chair in the absence of Vivian Cruz. The Mass was officiated by Fr Renata Bautista. Among the Scholasticans who attended were Remy Leal (who served as reader at the Mass), Rose Constantino (usher), Sherry David (candle bearer), Therese Rodriguez, Ria Marquez, and Joann Lara. Music was provided a capella by the Ateneo alumni group. Buffet was served after the Mass in the Consulate lobby. Food catered by Cornucopia, owned by Marissa Lago
MERRY (12 DAYS OF) CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!
There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled us.
What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially a partridge who won't come out of a pear tree have to do with Christmas? We just found out! From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their Church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ. The two turtle doves were the Old and the New Testaments. The three French hens stood for faith, hope, and love. The four calling birds were the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament. The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation. The seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy. The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes. The nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy,
Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and SelfControl. The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments. The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples. The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
7 swans a-
swimming, Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit 6 geese a-laying
Now you know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol!
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me 12 drummers drumming
Days of Creation 5 golden rings
Five Books of the Old Testament 4 calling birds
Twelve beliefs in Apostles’ Creed 11 pipers piping Four Gospels 3 French hens Eleven Faithful Apostles
10 lords a-leaping Ten Commandments
Faith, Hope, and Charity 2 turtle doves
9 ladies dancing Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit 8 maids a-milking
Bible: Old and New Testament And a partridge in a pear tree
Eight Beatitudes Christ
The December Holidays Bring Memories of Mom
My Mom Serging
My Mother Remy
by Mike Palileo
by Yvette Jarencio
My mother Remy lived a long and fruitful life and she shared that life generously. Her lifetime spanned 86 years, a major part devoted to a simple faith and love of God and love for family. Remy‘s devotion had its roots in her childhood, which she spent in her hometown of Pila, Laguna. There with her parents, Paciente Zorrilla Agra and Presen Relova Agra, her brother Tony and her sister Lulu, she lived her earliest years in a house across and to the side of Pila Church fronting the town plaza. My mother could see from the front windows of their house the statue of Saint Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of Pila, who stood in a niche at the entrance to the church. It was Saint Anthony who guarded Pila, Laguna, the blessed town or "Bayang Pinagpala" from the ravages of war. Pila‘s town historians credit St Anthony with interceding on Pila‘s behalf so that it was spared from the bombings of the Japanese during World War II. Remy‘s devotion grew in St Scholastica's College where she studied and lived as a high school interna with the German Benedictine nuns. She and many of her cousins were sent to St Scho by their parents because their aunt, Sr Consuelo Relova, was a nun there. It was in St Scho where she heard daily Mass and prayed the daily rosary, where her devotion to our Lady and to St Joseph grew, and where she imbibed the Benedictine discipline of "ora et labora" which permeated her life and the lives of all her children in the succeeding years. During the last thirty years of her life, she nurtured a devotion to St Josemaria Escriva, whose beatification and canonization she happily witnessed in Rome. Finally, Remy spent her life in love and devotion to her family, to her husband and her gregarious, jocular, and audacious children. Although she seemed shy and listened more than she spoke, she was warm and motherly and loved to laugh. We all loved her big hugs. We loved to snuggle up to her even when we were grown up. She was always there for us - every day, every night. Since she didn't work, we could count on her being home every day after school. To us she was not only a mother but a friend, confidante, model, guide, advisor, support, and strength. To us her children of course no other mother even came close. When we think of our mother Remy, we think of the good example she set throughout her life of a simple faith and love of God and love for family. This is our legacy from her. This is the memory of her we will always carry in our hearts.
My mother Serging claims that she was NOT named after Sergio Osmena, she was named after her paternal grandmother. Her life was in three stages of her 74 years – as an interna at St. Scholastica‘s College from Grade 1 until her graduation with a Music Teacher‘s Degree in 1937; as a pianist and music teacher until she was 30; and as wife when she married Hilarion Jarencio, a lawyer. Serging‘s religious devotion had its roots in her Benedictine education, with the strong influence of her twice 2 widowed mother, Margarita Velez de Pimentel and the German nuns including Sr. Willibalda (fondly called ―Baday‖ by the naughty interns). Sr. Baptista Battig was her first music teacher, and Sr. Cecile Donato nurtured her music career. Their friendship lasted for both their lifetimes. Her Steinway piano was ―parked‖ in SSC from 1917 until her graduation in 1937, and today it stays mute, after nursing shrapnels from the war, trips between Daet and Manila, and a refurbishment when Serging‘s dreams of two musical daughters were still a possibility, in our mother home in Lawson. We hope to share it with the SSC museum in due time. It is part of SSC history. After graduation, she had a host of music students who were presented in yearly recitals at the CWL Auditorium, and she played at the annual St. Cecilia concerts of St. Scholastica‘s. Serging got married in January, 1943 as the war broke out, and by 1946, she had two daughters and spent her life focused on her family, her husband, her mother and the growing clan of 2 more sons in the span of the next 10 years. As was the practice in the fifties she spent her life as a dutiful and supportive wife to a newly appointed judge, and preferred to focus on the upbringing of her four children. She maintained her friendships with her Scholastican classmates and her childhood friends. She was a mild mannered, mother to three, and then four opinionated children. She declared that being wife and mother would lead her closer to heaven because it had more challenges than the regulated and ―predictable & safe life‖ [that was in the fifties] in a semi-contemplative environment. Her mother thought she wanted to live the Benedictine way because she seemed immersed with her activities in school. After high school they spent a year in Daet, and on a visit to Manila, Sr. Baptista insisted that she continue her music education. ―Sergia will go to college.‖ When we think of our mother Serging, we realize that she taught us by example rather than by edict, knowing we were such strong-willed kids. Surprisingly, as most of us do, today we see that we reflect her values and lifestyle. This is our legacy from her. This is the memory of her my siblings and I will always carry in our hearts.
Epilogue: Remy and Serging were regular attendees at SSC alumnae homecomings, from the 60s and 70s, all the way through the 80s and 90s, wearing their matronly grade school uniforms with pride. They belonged to different batches but their tables were close to each other. Little did they know that their daughters would collaborate in producing Pergola e-Dyaryo, the e-zine of the next generation!
SCHOLASTICAN BABIES BORN IN 2009
Baby Catalina from Madrid, Spain (Kohnie Valderrama's apo)
Arwen Palileo (7 months) (Mike Palileo’s apo)
Sebastian Sangalang (Jojo Sangalang’s apo, Sunshine Sangalang’s first-born)
Ivan Neelankavil (Salve Pena-Neelankavil’s apo)
Lorenzo Lukban’s christening (Yvette Jarencio’s apo)
IS THIS WHAT YOU CALL RE-TIRE-MENT?
By: Carmencita Tinio-Katigbak GS ‘59
When I was in the Philippines in my first retirement back in 1993, I could not stand the inactivity. After several months I worked as VP Operations for SM Prime Holdings and their supermalls. But it was a 24/7 job that really stressed me out. I was then offered a position in New York City in 1998 and worked as the president of a newly formed manufacturing business making stone-like surface materials from recycled glass. Another stressful post. Had a stroke followed by a heart attack and that was it. I said to myself, if I want to live long, I better ease up or find a job that I don't have to bring home with me. No more trying to balance books, look for grants, worry about employees, worry about raw materials, worry about production, worry about maintenance - enough of that. So I went back to Canada, where life is generally more relaxed. My home is in the Beaches neighbourhood in Toronto and just a block away from Lake Ontario. It is beautiful here especially in summer. You may not like the cold, Canadian weather, but if you enjoy winter sports, there is nothing to dislike at all. I go Alpine skiing and try snowboarding from time to time. I do a lot of things. I do document forensics now determining what's wrong with a document and stabilizing it. Mindless but interesting on occasion. Great job! In my past spare time, I went to culinary school. Now I cook for a catering outfit run by a famous Toronto chef. I spent one year learning to bake artisanal bread with an Italian baker. I had to drive at 2 am about 60 miles away each time, just to make the starters, make cheese sticks, cannolis, pizza, baguettes, even hamburger buns aside from all kinds of Italian breads. Great experience, but boy! I tell you. That was a year I did not get enough sleep. I joined a Toastmasters Club to see how well I could do in public speaking. I am not too bad. Not bad at all! I recently won 3rd place in the humourous speech contest (although I wanted to win 1st place). I am currently learning all about firearms and safety. Canadians have very strict regulations on firearms. My aim is to go into competitive target shooting by next year. I started fencing classes with foil and will graduate next to epée and saber.
About the Author:
I took up rowing and sculling - great, great sport. Your mind is free. You just listen to the rhythm of the oar as it slaps the water; the cries of birds circling the water; you feel the wind on your face and you tell yourself, God is great to create all of this for us to enjoy. I went sea kayaking in Nova Scotia and toured the Maritime coastline, battled heavy waves from the sea and the occasional lull within a cove, but had a ball!!! I went back to taking piano lessons. It's amazing how much music soothes your soul. I inherited an old violin from my uncle. So I am thinking of taking violin lessons. It is more portable than a piano! I have been taking Spanish and Italian lessons. I spoke Italian 40 years ago but moving to North America from Europe makes you forget all other languages. It's amazing how much I remembered from Switzerland. So I am back speaking those two languages. I have a great teacher from Bologna and we chat entirely in Italian. Mi piace molto. I do yoga which surprisingly gives me more energy. I walk everyday. I used to run at least 5 km everyday until I injured my knee when I went skiing and it was never the same again. I will soon become a member of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, and as member you can fly in a vintage warplane. You suit up in a vintage flying outfit and they take you up in the air in an old airplane. But the weather has changed in Canada so flying's for next year. I also planned to take gliding (soaring) lessons, but the timing was never right. Again, maybe next year. I do not have television at home. I listen to classical music, jazz (big time), attend concerts or plays as much as I can. I visit friends. I invite friends over. I have 7 children who have now given me 9 grandchildren. A daughter lives in Manila, one lives in Rome, Italy, two live here in Toronto, and my three sons live in Montreal. I have a great time with all of them. My daughters are now like my sisters. We all enjoy the same things. We go out together, take trips together, and generally have a lot of fun. We read endlessly, eat amazingly well and, truly, I am having a great life. I love life! I am open to experience everything life has to offer.
Carmencita Tinio-Katigbak, Grade School 1959, was a New York resident in the 1960s when she enrolled at New York University after completing her degree in Commerce in Fribourg, Switzerland. Carmen qualified for college in Fribourg after completing her junior year of high school at SSC strictly on the basis of her academic grades. While in university, she married Fred Katigbak with whom she has seven children. Presently she lives in Toronto, Canada.
Winter Holiday in Geneva and Lyon
by Leo Legaspi
My wife (Marita Nadres Legaspi – HS‘69) had a couple of meetings scheduled this December in Geneva and it didn‘t take much to convince me to tag along. Once settled in I was on the look-out for phenomenal places to eat. These are not always Michelin-rated places—we‘ve often found the best food sold on the street! But as you can imagine, Geneva is not known for street food—you won‘t find any food carts anywhere in the city. During the winter time though, you might stumble on a few of these small makeshift wooden shacks in the little parks and plazas where Genevois sell typical Swiss fare. We‘ve had roasted chestnuts from street stalls in Bern, and we‘ve often wondered why they don‘t have them in Geneva. On a chilly evening in Geneva, in a plaza near the Gare Cornavin, we came across a couple of these quaint wooden shacks. One of them sold vin chaud, which is hot mulled wine, made with red wine (Beaujolais for this time of year), cinnamon, orange zest, cloves, cardamom and other spices.
serrano and mushrooms. I actually bought a packet of jamon Serrano, a small bottle of Gamay wine, and pungent Chaumes cheese from a supermarket near the hotel. I enjoyed them with a baguette in the hotel. It was, at 13 Euros, the cheapest meal I had in Geneva. We had originally planned to take a day trip to Paris, but we opted instead to go to Lyon. It is, after all, the culinary capital of France, and we‘d never been there. Unfortunately, we picked the busiest time of the year to visit Lyon. Fetes des Lumieres is a week long festival when many of the buildings around the city are lit up, some with moving images projected on their facades. All the restaurants and hotels were booked solid. We were both despondent that we could not eat at the restaurants of Paul Bocuse, Georges Blanc, and all those other Lyonnais culinary icons. Luckily, we found one of the last tables at Leon de Lyon, a charming little bistro in the old town. Not 3-star Michelin caliber but excellent. I had braised beef and Marita had fish. Lyon has great street food as well. Marita bought a tripe sandwich but it was just a little too offal-tasting for us. There is also a famous market that we visited called Halle de Rive, which is a gourmand‘s paradise. You can buy everything there – oysters, jambon, caviar, fish, pastries, quail, rabbit, civet, flowers, spices, produce, local wines, etc. We had the chance to have some poulet de Bresse, billed as the Rolls Royce of chickens, and some brouillade de truffes, or scrambled eggs with black truffles. We balked at paying almost 50 Euros for scrambled eggs. Instead I bought a sandwich from a shop that served jamon iberico only. For 5 Euros, I got a nice big sandwich made with freshly made French bread and cheese. In another shop, we bought some frogs‘ legs sautéed in parsley – 6 Euros for 4 pieces! Normally we try not to go to the same city or restaurant twice but we can easily be persuaded to go back to Lyon and Geneva.
The vendor, a hippie-looking gentleman in tie-dyes and sporting a ponytail, showed me the spices he used. One of them – garofalo – I was not familiar with. In the same shack, we bought some raclette, that great Swiss cheese snack served with little gherkins. In another shack we bought some crepes stuffed with jamon
Update: Ondoy Reflections by Sr Lydia Villegas
I was hurrying to the convent for midday prayer when I was stopped by a Grade School teacher. ―Sister Lydia,‖ the teacher said, ―This is Mrs. Baello and her daughter Bea from Grade II. They have come to say goodbye.‖ I had heard of the family name ―Baello‖ from the Sisters who recounted the event after their visit to our teachers affected by the flood. Bea‘s father, Dr. Baello, had perished in the floodwaters that covered their home in Provident Village, Marikina on September 26. Bea wanted to say goodbye to her teachers, classmates, and friends, and to the Sisters, as she was transferring to another school. Typhoon Ondoy had left Bea and her mother without a father and husband, and without a home. Life had to go on for both so they were moving out of Marikina to begin again and be healed of memories of life with Dad. Mrs. Baello explained that home for now would be joining her mother in Parañaque where Bea could enroll in another Catholic school. ―We managed somehow because Bea was strong. She was happy here and enjoyed memories of Prep till Grade 2. It‘s good we could be together as one happy family with my husband actively participating in the games during the school‘s Family Day. We both wanted Bea to complete her education here at St. Scholastica‘s Marikina as all his sisters did, but it‘s not possible to return to Provident Village with the trauma we experienced.‖ I listened admiringly to this young mother. Mrs. Baello, who once taught in a Pre-School, hoped that Bea would adjust to her new school and would continue to be a good student as she had been at SSAM. I asked Mrs. Baello if there was anything we could offer. She said they had received enough and more would not be necessary. It was good to live simply and just have enough. I asked Mrs. Baello and Bea to walk with me to the convent so I could give them something to remember the Benedictine education Bea had experienced. I gave Bea a St. Benedict medal and a dainty white rosary as an advanced First Communion gift. Bea was listening intently to her Mother and to me. I told Bea she was welcome anytime to visit the school that had molded her and to visit her friends. She nodded, taking it all in. She would continue being a good daughter to her Mama. I assured her that her Daddy was watching over them with love, with even stronger love, now that he was free of any limitation. ―Bea, I said, ―believe that Daddy watches over you and cares for you. Talk to him. He is present even though you do not see him.‖ What are my poor words to a child who has lost her Dad? Typhoon Ondoy has left many children without a parent like Bea. But perhaps Typhoon Ondoy has not only unleashed its fury— it has set free the human spirit that when tested has triumphed over insurmountable pain and suffering.
Lessons from Ondoy
by Katrina Marie O. Zablan – Year IV St. Scholastica’s Academy, Marikina City
I was carelessly tinkering on my keyboard, surfing the latest Korean buzz, when my mother pulled me from my seat. ―Anak, aalis tayo,‖ she said frantically. Fear gripped me instantly. I thought our house had been spared by the flood—it never dawned on me that something could still happen to us. I shut off my computer and hurriedly got dressed, grabbing everything within reach—some gadgets, clothes, essentials—I dumped them all into a bag. My father was in Quezon at this time, and my mother and I were in a panic. My mother told me to get in the car; she wanted me to stay out of the house. I stayed in the car as my mother, drenched in the heavy downpour, tried to save every valuable she could. I phoned my Dad but the lines were jammed so I gave up. My adrenaline already acting up, I rushed back to the house to help my mother. I was consumed by the peril that threatened to cost us our house and our lives, so I pared my focus to one: save something, save anything, save yourself. I dumped my computer, a few appliances, certificates, and savings in the back of the car and we drove to my friend Leo‘s house in Marikina Heights. There we were told that the vicinity of Concepcion was already submerged. We turned around and headed for my other friend Sarah‘s house. They had good drainage there, there was no flood. Whatever I could carry, I managed to bring to Sarah‘s house. I was left with Sarah while my mother returned to our house with a neighbor to get the other car.The time with Sarah gave me a few moments to think. First, my mother is in danger. Second, our house might go down in the flood. The house that my parents invested in all their lives, if it were to go down, what would we have left? I sat and closed my eyes, realizations pouring down like the unceasing rainfall. If everything were to get lost in a snap, where would we go? Perhaps I began to see life in another light, I began to open my eyes to the concrete proof of what might become of the world if we fail to take care of it. This might be what we are waiting for—to start acting on change, frequently presented to us in Powerpoints and symposia. Being aware is no longer enough. I flicked the remote from one TV channel to another, but all I could see were images of people devastated by the typhoon Ondoy. Family members missing, dead, drowned, people losing everything, which was next to nothing. I saw cars piled high like toys, concealed in a mountain of garbage that we all contributed to. Is this calamity a retaliation of nature, its wrath scattered on us, its ungrateful inhabitants? Change is nature‘s call. I have lived with a simple quote that could help us and enlighten us, and hopefully this will be our response: Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. But vision with action is making a positive difference.
Pergola e-Dyaryo is a publication of St. Scholastica’s Alumnae Association – East Coast