January 26, 2015

The Anatomy of a Filipino by Prof. Felix Bautista

All I like to think that I am a Filipino, that I am as Good, a Filipino as anyone.
Girls: My heart thrills, when, I Hear, the National anthem, being played.
Boys:  And my Blood Rises, when, I see our flag, Fluttering in the breeze.
All:  And Yet, I find myself asking, How Filipino Am I, Really?
Boys My First Name is American.
Girls My Last Name Is Chinese.
Boys When I am with Girlfriends or more correctly, when, I am with my Friends, who happen to be girls- I talk to them in English.
Girls If they are thirsty, I buy them, a Bottle of American coke.
Boys If they are hungry, I treat them, to an Italian Pizza pie.
All And when I have the money, I give them a real Chinese Lauriat.
Boy (solo):  Considering all these, considering my taste, for many things foreign, what right do I have, to call myself, a Filipino?
Girls (solo):  Should I not call myself, a culture orphan? The illegitimate child of many races?
All:  Rightly or wrongly, whether we like it or not, we are the end products of our history. Fortunately or unfortunately, our history is a co-mingling, of polyglot influences.
Boys Malayan and Chinese.
Girls:  Spanish and British.
Boys American and Japanese.
All:  This is historic fact we cannot ignore, a cultural reality we cannot escape, for to believe otherwise is to indulge in fantasy.
Boy (solo):  I must confess, I am an extremely confused, and Bewildered young man. Wherever I am, whatever I may be doing, I am Bombarded, on all sides, by people who want, me to search for my national identity.
All:  Tell me the Language I speak should be replaced by Filipino. They urge me to do away with things foreign to act and think, and buy Filipino.
Girl (solo):  Even in art, I am getting bothered and Bewildered.
All:  The Writer should use Filipino, as his medium, the nationalists cry.
Boys The Painter should use his genius in portraying themes purely Filipino, they demand.
Girls:  The Composer should exploit endless Possibilities of the haunting kundiman, they insist.
All:  All these sound wonderful. But Rizal used Spanish, when he wrote, Noli and Fili.
Boys:  Was he less of a nationalist, because of it? Must the artist, to be truly Filipino, paint with the juice of the duhat?
Girls And must he draw picture of topless Muslim women or Igorot warriors in G-String
All And if the composer deserts the kundiman, and he writes song faithful to the spirit of the Youths of today, does he become unFilipino? We are what we are today, because of our history.
Boys In our veins pulses blood with traces of Chinese and Spanish and American, but It does not stop being Filipino, because of these.
 Girls:  Our culture is tinged with foreign influences, but it has become rich thereby.
All This mingling, in fact, could speed us on the road, to national greatness.  Look at America, it is a great country, and yet it is the melting pot of Italian, and German, British, and French, or Irish and Swedish.
Boy (solo):  Filipinism, after all, is in the heart.
All If that heart beats faster, because the Philippines is making progress, if it fills with compassion because its people are suffering, then it belongs to a true Filipino; and it throbs with pride in our past, if it pulses with awareness of the present, if it beats  with a faith in the future, then we could ask for nothing more; all other things are unimportant.
Boys I have an American First Name.
Girls:  And I have, a Chinese Last Name.
All:  And I am proud, very, very proud, - because underneath these names beats a Filipino heart.

January 28, 2014

A Love Letter

Dear Ana,
          I wrote to let you know how much you mean to me. Yesterday I saw you walking and laughing with your friends and I hope that soon you’d want me to walk along with you, too. I love you so I painted you a sunset to close your day; likewise, I whispered a cool breeze to refresh you. I waited but you never called. However, I just kept on loving you.
          Last night, I saw tears trickling down you cheeks. I knew you were hurt and unhappy; consequently, I wanted so much to comfort you. Unfortunately, you didn’t think of Me nor ask for My help. To ease your pain, I spilled moonlight onto your face and made the stars burn their brightest, but you were so filled with self-pity, you didn’t even notice.
          This morning, I exploded a brilliant sunrise into glorious morning to cheer you up. But you woke up late and rushed off to school unaware of it. My sky became cloudy and My tears were the rain.
          I Love you, I truly and really care. I try to essay the intensity of My love not only in the silence of the green meadows but also in the splendor of the blue sky. The wind whispers My concern throughout the treetops; in addition, I spill it into the vibrant colors of all flowers. I shout My love to you in the thunder of the great waterfalls; furthermore, I compose love songs for the birds to sing to you. I warm you with the clothing of My sunshine and I perfume the air with Nature’s sweet scent. My love for you is deeper than any ocean and it is greater than any need in your heart. If you’d only realize how much I love and care.
          My Father sends His love. I want you to meet Him – He cares, too. So, please call on Me soon. No matter how long it takes, I’ll wait because I love you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Most sincerely,


January 15, 2014

Vision by Feraya

A country of great beauty
People so gentle and kind

There is also ugliness
And cruelty
Fleeing and hiding
And foraging for food
To survive

Our people are in pain
Suffering like no hell on earth
Darkness and despair
Surround them

And freedom is out of reach

Beaten and battered by life
Death and diseases
Of the mind and spirit

Swallowed up by gloominess
And bitterness
How can they carry on?

Each of us has a role to play

To help our countrymen
Not by hatred and blame
Not by giving false hope
Or ideas
Or concepts

But to see the big vision

A vision that’s not small or limited
A vision that’s vast and spacious

So that Burma’s people may rise up

Like a beautiful lotus
From a muddy pond.


        Tree of Unhappiness
   Kim Sang – yong (1592 – 1637)
   (Translated by Graeme Wilson)

On broad leaves of pau-low-nia
The one and only tree
Whereon the phoenix will set foot
The rain falls heartlessly.

The rain’s sad tapping overhead
Compounds my weight of grief.
Who now could have the heart to plant
Trees of so broad a leaf?

         Sin Hum (1566 – 1628)
    (Translated by Graeme Wilson)

It rained last night, the pomegranates
Red and oranges
Have all burst into flower.
Not to be comfort,
I sit in this cool pavilion
Set in a lotus lake
And under its glass-bead curtains wait
For my closed heart to break.

                   Girl in the Rain
             Anonymous (18th century)
         (Translated by Graeme Wilson)

Her violet cloak clutched round her head,
As quickly as she can
She runs through rain-fall to the pear bloomed
Village and a man.

What blandishments, I wonder,
What whispers, what untrue
But wonderful promises
Have soaked that silly through.

January 12, 2014

The Tale of the Woodcutter and the Tiger

  Korean folklore recalls the tale of a woodcutter who encounters a tiger in the woods.  Fearing that he would soon be the tiger’s dinner, he exclaimed:   “You must be my long lost brother!  Our mother cried for you when you left home.  She had dinner ready for you every night, waiting for your return.  Sadly, out mother has just passed away.  How happy she would have been had she known you are alive and well!”  The woodcutter took out his handkerchief and pretended to wipe at his eyes.  The tiger turned away, as tears fell down his cheeks, leaving the woodcutter unharmed.
Every year thereafter, on Chesa, the memorial day of the woodcutter’s mother’s death, an offering appeared on her grave -  sometimes a peasant, or even his mother’s favorite mountain berries.  The woodcutter did not know where these offerings came from.
    One year, the woodcutter noticed that the customary offering had not been placed on his mother’s grave, and he wondered what had happened. Out from the bush, three baby tigers appeared, carrying offerings.  They approached the woodcutter and cried: “You must be our uncle!  Mother tiger is gone now, and we know how important it is for her to honor grandmother by bringing an offering to her Chesa table beside her grave.  We are here to bring offerings for our grandmother in loving memory of our mother.” The woodcutter noticed that his face had turned suddenly warm and realized that it was his own tears streaming down his cheeks.

January 6, 2014

Tale of Ch’unhyang

    Formerly there lived in the province of Cholla, in the town of Namwon, a magistrate's son named Yi Mong-Yong. He had much literary talent, and grew up to be a handsome young man. 
One beautiful morning, Master Yi Mong-Yong called his servant, Pangja, and asked him to show him a place where he might see wild flowers. Pangja led him to a summer pavilion near a bridge called "Ojak-kyo," or the "Magpie Bridge." The view from the bridge was as beautiful as the summer sky, and thus was named after the tale of the Herdboy and the Weaving Maid.
Looking at the distant mountains, Yi Mong-Yong caught sight of a young maiden swinging beneath one of the trees. He asked Pangja about the lovely maiden and her attendant. He replied that she was Ch'unhyang (Spring Fragrance), a daughter of Wolmae (Moon Plum), the retired kisaeng entertainer. Pangja related to his young master that this young girl was not only beautiful but also virtuous. Yi Mong-Yong insisted that Pangja inform Ch'unhyang that he wished to meet her. "Don't you know the butterfly must pursue the flower, and the geese must seek the sea?" retorted Ch'unhyang.
The wind blew back her hair and long ribbon over her rosy face, and she glowed with virtue and happiness. "This good fortune is offered me today. Why wait until tomorrow? Should I not speak to this pretty girl now?" Yi Mong-Yong said to himself.
Just then Ch'unhyang, frightened at being watched, jumped down from her swing and ran toward her house. Stopping under a peach tree at her garden gate she plucked a blossom and kissed it, her lips and cheeks redder than the bloom, and was gone. Pangja urged his master to hasten home so that his father might know nothing of his adventure, and then punish Pangja for allowing Yi Mong-Yong to wander so far. The youth returned home in a trance, and went immediately to sit at dinner with his parents.
With the meal finished, Yi Mong-Yong went to his room, lit a candle, and opened a book. Reading proved impossible. The words blurred before his eyes and every word and every character was "Spring" and "Fragrance"- Ch'unhyang, Ch'unhyang, Ch'unhyang. Calling Pangja, he said, "Tonight I must see Ch'unhyang. Did she not say that the butterfly must pursue the flower?"
They went to Ch'unhyang's house, stopping under the peach tree in the garden as they approached. At that moment Ch'unhyang's mother was telling her daughter that she had had a dream in which a blue dragon coiled itself around Ch'unhyang's body and, holding her in its mouth, flew up to the sky. Looking up, instead of the dragon in the clouds, the girl's mother saw a dragon on earth, for Yi Mong-Yong walked out of darkness and spoke to her.
On learning the purpose of his visit she called Ch'unhyang to meet the young yangban, and Yi Mong-Yong asked Ch'unhyang's mother for the hand of her daughter. The old woman, thinking her dream had come true, gladly consented, and said, "You are a yangban's son and Ch'unhyang is the daughter of a kisaeng, so there cannot be a formal marriage. If you give us a secret marriage contract, writing your pledge not to desert her, we shall be contented."
Yi Mong-Yong seized a brush and set down the following lines: "The blue sea may become a mulberry field, and the mulberry fields may become the blue sea, but my heart for Ch'unhyang shall never change. Heaven and earth and all the gods are witnesses."
In their sleep that night they dreamed of Mandarin ducks swimming together. For several nights he visited his beloved, until she teased him, saying that he should go home and study hard to become a great official like his father. Unfortunately, their time together did not last.
Not long after the secret marriage, the servant brought Yi Mong-Yong a message saying that his father, newly appointed to the King's cabinet, was being recalled to the capitol. Yi Mong-Yong, who was to accompany his father, went that evening to Ch'unhyang and told her the bad news. The young couple was forced to say a tearful goodbye at the Magpie Bridge. "Since there is no way to change our fate, let us embrace and part," said Ch'unhyang, throwing her arms around her lover.
She then gave him a ring. "This is my token of love for you. Keep it until we meet again. Go in peace, but do not forget me. I shall remain faithful to you and wait here for you to come and take me away to Seoul." With these words, they parted.The new Namwon magistrate arrived soon afterward, and among his first words to his servant were, "Bring me Ch'unhyang, the pretty girl I have heard of."
"This is difficult sir," replied the retainer, "for she is already married secretly to Yi Mong-Yong, the son of the former magistrate." Angered, the new magistrate ordered Ch'unhyang summoned at once. Too terrified to disobey an order by the magistrate, Ch'unhyang accompanied the servant. The magistrate looked at her attentively. "I heard much of you in Seoul, and today I see you are very beautiful. Will you come to me?"
Choosing her words carefully, Ch'unhyang replied, "I am committed to Yi Mong-Yong. That is why I cannot do as you ask. The King has sent you here to take care of the people. You have a heavy responsibility to the throne. It would be better to fulfill your duties and apply justice according to the laws of the country." Ch'unhyang's defiance enraged the magistrate, and he ordered her taken to prison. "Why put me in prison?" Ch'unhyang protested, "I have done no wrong. A married woman must be faithful to her husband, just as a magistrate should be faithful to the king." This merely served to anger the magistrate further, and before long Ch'unhyang found herself in a prison cell.
Meanwhile, Yi Mong-Yong had arrived in Seoul, where he studied hard and learned all the famous Chinese classics. He passed the government examinations with the highest distinction, thereby qualifying for a position in the king's service. In congratulating him after the munkwa examinations, the king asked Yi Mong-Yong. "Do you wish to be a magistrate or a governor?"
"I should like to be appointed amhaengosa," replied Yi Mong-Yong. Yi Mong-Yong, as an amhaengosa, traveled around the country with his attendants, disguised as beggars. They inquired everywhere after the needs of the people in order to assess the quality of local districts' administrations. Soon he arrived near Namwon, and came to a small farming village where the people were planting rice.
While working, the peasants sadly chanted: "We come out in the scorching heat, plough our fields, sow our seeds, and make the rice grow. First we must pay tribute to the king, give a part to the poor, a part to travelers who come knocking at our doors, and save money for ancestral services. This would be all right if the magistrate did not squeeze us for even more, leaving us with hardly anything to eat."
Much interested, Yi Mong-Yong approached and said, "I have heard that the magistrate of Namwon has married Ch'unhyang and that they live together happily."
"How dare you speak like that?" retorted one of farmers. "Ch'unhyang is faithful, true and pure, and you are a fool to speak thus of her and that tyrant, who is cruel to her. No, her fate is even worse than that because the son of the former magistrate seduced and deflowered that poor girl, and then abandoned her, never coming back to see her. He is a bastard, the son of a dog, the son of a pig!"
The farmer's anger shocked Yi Mong-Yong. He found that many villagers felt the same way. The local yangban aristocrats shared the people's wrath. Yi Mong-Yong happened on a spot where some yangban were having a picnic, comparing poems and conversing on a hillside. He listened as a scholar presented a poem railing against the unjust provincial government. When he was done, another picnicker said, "These are sad days! I've heard that a young woman called Ch'unhyang is to be executed in two or three days." "Oh! This Magistrate is a wretch!" said another.
"He is thinking only of overpowering Ch'unhyang, but she is like the pine and bamboo, which never change. She has remained faithful and true to her husband."
Another added, "She was married to the son of the old magistrate. What a pig her husband is! He abandoned the poor girl." These comments made Yi Mong-Yong, weary and ashamed, hasten to Namwon.
Meanwhile, Ch'unhyang, in prison all this time, remained faithful to the memory of Yi Mong-Yong. She had grown thin, feeble, and sick. One day she had a dream, in which she saw her house. In her garden, the flowers that she had planted and loved had faded. The mirror in her room was broken. Her shoes were hanging on the lintel of the door. She called to a blind man who happened to be passing by her cell window, and asked him the significance of her dream.
"I shall tell you what it means. These dried flowers shall bear fruit, the noise of the broken mirror will be heard throughout the world, and the shoes on the door indicate a large crowd visiting to offer congratulations."
Ch'unhyang thanked the blind man and prayed that his prophecy would come true. In reality, however, Ch'unhyang's doom was near. That very day the evil magistrate called his attendants together and said to them, "In three days I shall celebrate a great feast, to which I wish to invite all the magistrates of the nearby towns, and on that day Ch'unhyang shall be executed.
"Meanwhile, Yi Mong-Yong arrived in the town and went to Ch'unhyang's house. At first, her mother did not recognize him. "I do not know who you are," she said. "Your face reminds me of Yi Mong-Yong, but your clothes are the clothes of a beggar." "But I am Yi Mong-Yong," said he.
"Oh!" she gasped. "Every day we have waited for you, but alas, in two or three days Ch'unhyang will be dead."
"Listen to me, Mother," replied Yi Mong-Yong. "Even though I am a miserable beggar, I still long for Ch'unhyang, and I want to see her.
"With Yi Mong-Yong following, she knocked at the prison window, calling her daughter, who was asleep. Awakened, Ch'unhyang asked immediately if anyone had seen Yi Mong-Yong or heard news of him. 
The mother replied that in place of Yi Mong-Yong, a beggar had come who claimed he was Yi Mong-Yong, and was there now to see her.
Yi Mong-Yong appeared at the window and Ch'unhyang looked at him. It seemed to make no difference to her that he was badly dressed, and seemed to have failed at life in Seoul. Instead, she reached for him through the bars and struggled to be as close to him as possible.
"I may be a beggar in dress," replied Yi Mong-Yong, "but I have no beggar's heart!"
"Dear heart," said Ch'unhyang, "how hard your journey must have been. Go back with my mother and get some rest. Only please - since I am under a sentence of death and must die tomorrow after the feast - come to my window again in the morning so I may have the joy of seeing you once more before I die."
Yi Mong-Yong went home and slept in Ch'unhyang's room. But the next morning, when his mother-in-law opened the door, she was surprised to find that he was gone. In fact, he had gone early to collect his attendants, all disguised as beggars like himself. He gave them strict orders. Then, as the magistrate received his guests and presided over the banquet, Yi Mong-Yong managed to get into the palatial office compound and approach the host.
"I am a poor man," he said, "and I am hungry. Please, give me something to eat." It was customary in Korea, during big feasts in the countryside, for a number of beggars to show up for handouts, but the furious magistrate commanded his servants to kick the intruder out.
Then Yi Mong-Yong entered the palace a second time, by climbing on the shoulders of his servants and going over the wall. The first guest he encountered was the magistrate of Unbong, named Pak Yong-Jang. He said to him, "I am hungry, could you not let me have something?" Yong-Jang, feeling some compassion called one of the kisaengs and asked her to bring something to the beggar.
Yi Mong-Yong then addressed Yong-Jang: "I am obliged to you for giving me good food, and I wish to repay you with a little poem." Then he extended a paper on which Yong-Jang read the lines:
This beautiful wine in golden goblets
Is the blood of a thousand people 
This magnificent meat on these jade tables 
Is the flesh and marrow of a thousand lives
Burning in this banquet hall,
The tears of the hungry people
Pour from their sunken eyes.
Even louder than the noisy song of these courtesans
Resound the complaints of the oppressed peasants.
Yong-Jang, greatly alarmed, cried, "It is against us," and he passed the paper to the host, who asked, "Who wrote this poem?" "It is the young beggar," said Yong-Jang, pointing to Yi Mong-Yong, but he was frightened, thinking that whoever wrote such a poem must be more than a common beggar. Rising up, he suddenly pretended to have urgent business elsewhere and fled. The other officials likewise sprang to their feet and stampeded out of the room, only to be stopped by Yi Mong-Yong's men, who were waiting outside with their swords. The officials soon understood that the beggar-poet was in fact an amhaengosa. As they cowered together in a corner of the courtyard, Yi Mong-Yong revealed his ma-p'ae and ordered the magistrate's runners to fetch Ch'unhyang from her cell and to say to her, "The King's envoy has sent for you. He is going to hear your case and pronounce judgment.
In the jail, Ch'unhyang was greatly frightened.
"Oh!" she cried. "I am going to die! Please, may I see my mother?" Ch'unhyang's mother ran to her daughter. "Mother, now is the hour of my death. Where is Yi Mong-Yong?"
"The King's officer is waiting. Do not stop to chitchat!" snapped the runners, and before Ch'unhyang's mother could speak, they carried her away to the magistrate's courtyard. They removed the wooden cangue from around her neck and placed her in the presence of the Royal Secret Inspector, who, sitting behind a screen, questioned her sternly: "If you do not love the magistrate, will you love me and come to me, the King's envoy? If you refuse I shall order my men to strike off your head immediately."
"Alas!" exclaimed Ch'unhyang. "How unhappy are the poor people of this country! First the injustice of the magistrate, then you, the King's Inspector, who should help and protect the unhappy people - you think immediately to condemn to death a poor girl whom you desire. Oh, how sad we common people are, and how pitiful it is to be a woman!"
Yi Mong-Yong then ordered the courtesans to untie the cords that bound the hands of Ch'unhyang. "Now raise your head, and look at me," he said to her.
"No," she answered, "I shall not look at you, I shall not listen to you. Cut my body into pieces if you like, but I shall never go to you."
Yi Mong-Yong was deeply touched. He took off his ring and ordered a courtesan to show it to Ch'unhyang. She saw that was the very ring she had given to her husband Yi Mong-Yong and, lifting her eyes, recognized her lover.
"Oh," she cried in joy and surprise. "Yesterday my lover was only a beggar and today he is the King's officer!"
Yi Mong-Yong ordered a sedan chair to be brought at once and saw that Ch'unhyang was safely carried home. The people shouted joyfully and cheered for Ch'unhyang and Yi Mong-Yong. Then he summoned the magistrate of Namwon and said, "The King gave you instructions to feed the people well, and instead you fed upon them. I condemn you in the name of the King to forfeit your position. I banish you to a faraway island without meat, without wine, and without company. I give you permission to eat the wild grass till your stomach repents for the way you have fed off the people of Namwon!" 
When all this was done, Yi Mong-Yong took his bride back to Seoul and wrote out the story Ch'unhyang as an appendix to his official report. The King read it and was surprised to find such fidelity in a country girl of low birth. He made her ach'ungnyolpuin, or a faithful wife, and declared that her loyalty was proof that she was just as good as any yangban daughter, even though her mother was a lowly kisaeng, and that her conduct should be a model for all women. Ch'unhyang was then officially presented to the parents of Yi Mong-Yong, and they accepted her as a proper daughter-in-law. In time, Ch'unhyang bore three sons and two daughters, and they all lived happily for many years come.

Music Video "I Want To Know" Jo Seung Woo

November 14, 2013


ONCE UPON a time there was a mousedeer.  One day, Mousedeer went for a walk along the bank of a river.  He saw Crocodile in the water and said to him, "Good morning, Mr. Crocodile.  I hope you are well this morning."

        Mr. Crocodile snapped at Mousedeer.  Luckily, Mousedeer was not near him.

        "It would be a good morning if I could catch you and have you for my breakfast," said Crocodile.

        Mousedeer laughed, "My dear Friend, you are too weak to catch me; you do not know how strong I am."

        Crocodile looked at little Mousedeer and laughed loudly.  Mousedeer said, "Do not laugh at me.  I may be small but I can show you that I am stronger than you."  Then Mousedeer showed him a piece of rope and said:

        "I will take one end of this rope and you can take the other end.  Then we will pull.  We will pull as hard as we can.  We will see which one of us is the stronger.  If you can pull me into the water, then you can eat me."

        Mousedeer threw one end of the rope to Crocodile.  Crocodile took the end of the rope.

        When Crocodile was not looking, Mousedeer quickly climbed up a tree.  He tied his end of the rope to a big branch at the top of the tree.  Then he came down and sat behind the tree.

        Crocodile now held his end of the rope.  He thought that Mousedeer was holding the other end.  He did not know that Mousedeer was just sitting behind the tree.

        "Are you ready.  Mr. Crocodile?" called Mousedeer.  "One, two, three, P-U-L-L!"

        Crocodile pulled as hard as he could.

The tree bent a little towards the river.  Crocodile stopped to take a breath.  At once the tree went back and became straight.  As it went back and became straight.  As it went back the rope pulled Mr. Crocodile.  He was afraid.  He began to think that Mousedeer was pulling him out of the river.

        So Crocodile pulled again very, very hard.  Again the tree bent a little.  Crocodile was very tired.  He stopeed to take a breath once more.  At once the tree went back again.  Crocodile thought the Mousedeer was really going to pull him out of the water this time!

        Mousedeer saw that the Crocodile was afraid.  He shouted to him, "You look tired Mr. Crocodile.  Do you want to rest?"  Crocodile agreed and gladly let go of the rope.

        Mousedeer ran happily along the bank.  He did not look tired at all.  He said to Crocodile, "Did you like the pull, Mr. Crocodile?  It was a good pull.  You pulled very well, but I am sure that next time I shall pull you out of the river.  Come, let us try again."

        Crocodile looked at mousedeer.  He saw that Mousedeer did not look tired at all.  He was afraid that if he tried again, Mousedeer would win.  Mousedeer was small but he must be very, very strong.  Crocodile said, "No, no, Mousedeer.  I cannot pull any more.  You are stronger than I am," and he swam slowly away, down the river.