It is the month of flowers once again and children are in the chapels for the traditional Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May), a month-long Catholic festival introduced by the Spaniards as a tribute to the Virgin Mary.
"I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over - a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any here."
- John Steinbeck in "The Urge to be Someplace Else"
And so it was that I found myself one cold December morning riding at the back of an open pickup truck, the wind on my face, up through the misty mountain trails of Mae Hong Son at the Thai-Burmese border. There we were all seated on a mat spread across the floor of the truck, shivering at every burst of moist wind that got chillier as we climbed our way up the slopes. To shield my face from the cold, I draped it with a shawl that I kept holding on tightly lest it gets blown about by the wind. Yet, after a while, I decided to let go of it gladly, no matter how biting the cold was, and let myself be swept in by the wind and sunshine, and the stirring beauty of mist and green.
KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/19 November) -- It all started with a simple dream. A young boy many years ago dreamt of becoming a teacher and he did become one.
Today, Agapito “Pete” Lubaton, 47, is more than just a teacher. He is also co-owner and administrator of the Marbel Institute of Technical College (MITC), one of the fastest-growing and most promising technical-vocational institutions in Southwestern Mindanao.
DIPOLOG CITY (MindaNews/25 October) -- "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Or so the Chinese proverb says.
But for Dipolog Bishop Jose R. Manguiran, 71, "that's obsolete now.” For the Bishop, it should be updated to something like: "Don't just teach him how to fish; teach him how to take care of the seas and the environment."
This sums up what motivated Tom Balatac, 24, to enroll in Grade I this year.
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 February) -- Travel down Ma-a Road here and you will find a small foundry that time and technology have forgotten.