Happy New Year 2010!!!

Happy New Year 2010!!!

Only two years to go before… “2012.”



  1. January 19, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Excellent. My sentiments exactly.

    Thank you, Patricia.

    Thank you for posting, Presy.

    Cheers to young, brilliant minds!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  2. Presy Guevara said,

    January 18, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    This is good to read:

    Best soul searching article

    about the Philippines today!

    Subject: A young Filipina writer named Patricia

    In 2004, at the age of 17, Patricia Evangelista won the English-Speaking Union’s International Public Speaking Competition in London, beating accomplished speakers from some 60 countries. In UP, she was a debating champion. Now, at 23, she is one of the country’s most respected columnists and, I daresay, arguably one of the world’s best writers of social commentary…

    Method To Madness
    We, the living
    By Patricia Evangelista
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 19:43:00 01/02/2010

    Filed Under: Politics , Maguindanao Massacre , Ondoy

    I WRITE this in the dark. The Christmas lights have dimmed. The stars are dead. The silence is a scream. It is suicide hour, witching hour. At three in the morning the phone will not ring, the prince will never come and all the right words live in other writers’ pens. I am told to write of hope and the New Year, but sometimes words write themselves, and they come without bells jingling or the echo of carols.

    I used to think that inside every man was an instinct for good, that all that was needed was to show the truth, to call it out, and then the world would come raging down, a winged battalion with flashing eyes and silver swords. This is the truth, I tell you. The emperor has no clothes. The general is a murderer. The senator is a hypocrite. The judge is a bigot. The left-wing revolutionaries are waltzing with the tyrants, the dead woman had a bullet in the eye, and the father of nine died alive buried in a pile of earth. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold, and still the madding crowd goes waltzing on.

    See the tycoons in their skyscrapers. See the giggling girl in short pink satin stumble out of the club at dawn. See the blank-eyed masses with their free campaign T-shirts. It is as if chaos is the standard by which we live, as if mass murder were an act of God or politics or, in the words of an airport taxi driver, those murdering Muslims in the South.

    In the last year, 464 died in a typhoon called “Ondoy.” Fires swept over the country, volcanoes came to life. It was a year when teachers were beheaded, priests kidnapped, ferries collided, film critics murdered and bodies left on bridges to rot inside cardboard boxes.

    In Maguindanao, 57 people, including 31 journalists, were shot on the road to Cotabato. Some were raped, some were mutilated and some were buried still alive.

    Homosexuality became an act of immorality, rape became a woman’s fault and thousands of women died at childbirth just as the Church called the use of condoms abortion.

    Martial law was declared. It was a year when a contingent of devotees hung on to presidential coattails in a junket to the United States , spending millions on meals and limousines. Unemployment rose to 14 million in the first quarter of 2009, 3.7 million families went hungry.

    Compared to the massacre in Ampatuan or the body count of Ondoy, it is an improvement to say “only 10” died, as was the case in the RCBC Bank in Cabuyao, Laguna last May, when robbers pumped bullets into the bodies of 55-year-old bank manager Isagani Pastor, his staff of eight and a depositor named Ferdinand Antonio who happened to come in early.

    It is an improvement only until we allow ourselves to accept every one of the dead among the “only 10” had believed they would be awake at the dawn of 2010. It is true that we cannot give them all faces; we cannot allow them all names; we cannot, for example, think of the fact that Ferdinand Antonio left behind two round-faced children and a weeping sister.

    To allow it is to carry that staggering guilt of knowing that the hundreds of thousands lost and dead and homeless are not numbers but people, each an individual, each with bruises and stories and once-bright eyes.

    It is only when the storm drowns Manila , when the dead boy is a friend with Japanese eyes, when the massacred reporter writes for the same paper you once read, when reality comes uncomfortably close, that we allow ourselves to care. Then we reach for the words. Unspeakable, we say. Unimaginable. But it is imaginable, it should have been spoken of, it happened before, to someone else whose name we didn’t want to know.

    When mud-coated bodies floated up after Ondoy, we were all Filipinos. During those two brutal weeks, every man was a brother, every child a daughter, every lost home our home, because it happened to us too. And yet there were 20 storms in 2009, not just Ondoy, killing 1,238 people, destroying 395,000 houses and causing damage of close to P45 billion. But it was not our story; it was not mine, not until the water swallowed our home north of the metro and with it my capacity to call anything unimaginable.

    It is the same imagination that plagues Joan Teodoro, when she thinks of the journalist father dying under the ground, bleeding from bullets.

    It should have been the imagination that plagued us, when the first rumors of private armies and chainsaw massacres rose from the fields of Maguindanao. It should plague us now, when we look at the private armies in Pampanga and Sultan Kudarat and Basilan, of those in Sulu, in Lanao, in Samar and Masbate and Nueva Ecija, and Abra.

    It is a heavy thing, this imagination, that “fatal capacity” that Frederick Buechner calls feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin, the imagination babbling at three in the morning, whispering demands at Christmas parties, demanding that we move, speak, act, uncomfortable and uncontrollable, a fanged monster living in your head…

    The toddler named Franco who liked cars and danced on his high chair could have been your Franco, it could have been your four-year-old baby who drowned in Batangas one sunny day in June.

    The boy named Alexis who loved films and words and hardbound books could have been your Alexis, it could have been your brother or cousin or friend who was shot at his Times Street home with his girl. Journalist Jimmy Cabillo of Midland Review could have been your Jimmy, it could have been your father who fell to his knees in Sitio Masalay and begged Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. to please, please let him live.

    We cannot resist what we cannot imagine. So we tell our stories, we will say no, even if the battalion does not come and the men in power toss us lies in paper bags. We speak because if we do not, we offer our consent with our silence.

    This is what I want to say. The emperor has no clothes. The general is a murderer. The senator is a hypocrite. The judge is a bigot. The left-wing revolutionaries are waltzing with the tyrants, the dead woman had a bullet in the eye, and the father of nine died alive buried in a pile of earth.

    I do not believe in raging angels. I do not believe in perfect kings. I do not believe that the fact Lito Lapid is ranked fourth in the reelection surveys after six years of refusing any pretension of usefulness in the Senate means that we are going to hell, only that our humanity demands our occasional stupidity. I believe in a people willing to risk imagination, in men and women who will not go gently into the dying light. I believe being alive in this country is an accident of circumstance, and because it is, it demands those who survive to live as human beings.

    I’ll tell you what I see when I close my eyes. I see the arm of a yellow backhoe grubbing for dirt on a low hill in a small town. There is a shoe, a leg, and then a body drops from the metal claw, what was once a man bloated and soiled, and in my mind’s eye I see it falling at my feet, see my sneakers stepping quickly back. I see it now because I saw it once, and I write about it, again and again, sometimes because I am trying to forget, but most of the time because I am afraid I will.

    To a new year.

  3. Josh Moya said,

    January 7, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Can’t wait to read your stories for 2010.

  4. Jules B. Vergel de Dios said,

    January 6, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Howdy Joel,
    glad you appreciate it…
    I have one more set to share to you,
    and I love this too myself:

    Read at leat once a week ….
    Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old,
    of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

    To celebrate growing older,
    I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me..
    It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.
    My odometer rolled over to 90 in August,
    so here is the column once more:

    1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
    2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
    3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone…
    4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch
    5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
    6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
    7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
    8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
    9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
    10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
    11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
    12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
    13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
    14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
    15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
    16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
    17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
    18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
    19.. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
    20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
    21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
    22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
    23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
    24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
    25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
    26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
    27. Always choose life.
    28. Forgive everyone everything.
    29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
    30. Time heals almost everything. Give time .
    31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
    32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
    33. Believe in miracles…
    34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
    35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
    36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.
    37. Your children get only one childhood.
    38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
    39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
    40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
    41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
    42. The best is yet to come.
    43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
    44. Yield.
    45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.


  5. Rouel Dionisio said,

    January 4, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    afraid of 2012… hehehe 2 years of fun na lang…

  6. Joel Cruz said,

    January 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Nice thoughts from Jules! Cheers to 2010!

  7. January 3, 2010 at 3:11 am

    Happy New Year everyone.

  8. Mari Hizon said,

    January 2, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    HB!!! Many more!

  9. January 1, 2010 at 2:44 am

    2012 on December 21, all the planets in our solar system will align, Log into You tube about this huge metereor which MIGHT hit our blue planet. My mom and I have this THING that we are living each day as it 2012 will be another BIG BANG.

    And if it doesn’t like Y2K in 2000, we will be still be living LIFE to the fullest POSITIVE way possible.

  10. steve betts said,

    January 1, 2010 at 1:05 am

    God bless us all in 2010! Thank you Toto for sharing your thoughts with this blog. It has blessed me with humor and insight through the years!

  11. Jules B. Vergel de Dios said,

    December 31, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Allow me to append here
    what I got from my inbox
    ~ hope you’ll find some time to read

    HANDBOOK 2010

    1. Drink plenty of water.
    2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
    3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
    4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
    5. Make time to pray.
    6. Play more games
    7. Read more books than you did in 2009
    8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
    9. Sleep for 7 hours.
    10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

    11. Don’t compare your life to others… You have no idea what their journey is all about.
    12. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
    13. Don’t over do.. Keep your limits.
    14. Don’t take yourself so seriously.. No one else does.
    15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
    16. Dream more while you are awake
    17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
    18.. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
    19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
    20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
    21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
    22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
    23. Smile and laugh more.
    24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…

    25. Call your family often.
    26. Each day give something good to others.
    27. Forgive everyone for everything.
    28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
    29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
    30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
    31. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

    32. Do the right thing!
    33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
    34. GOD heals everything.
    35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
    36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
    37. The best is yet to come..
    38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
    39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.


  12. Paz Atienza said,

    December 31, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Happy New Year Toto and the rest of you who are regulars of this wonderful blog!!!!

  13. Connie Kus said,

    December 30, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks to everyone… God Bless.

  14. Gino Gonzales said,

    December 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    A Blessed New Year to everyone!!

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