I WAS ROUSED this morning by the smell of rain, by the pungent aroma of water seeping into the parched earth. My mind was drawn to what flooded the soil of Inang Bayan not too long ago, and by association of ideas this verse blew me wide awake: “Your brother’s blood cries out to Me
BACK IN THE OLDEN days, the Filipino family prayed together, stayed together, and weathered the storms of life intact. There were exceptions to the rule, of course, but society didn’t dwell on them. People got married and had children. If later the marriage foundered, the spouses ran a rope around the hull, kept it together
I MISS my Dad. I lost him two years ago but I still think I hear his voice and often forget that he’s not home to greet me with his usual, “Hello, Darling!” Father’s Day is especially tough because it makes his absence starker. He was an excellent Dad. Of course, in our 46 years
My thirties came and went and I hit 40 surprised by the joy of emancipation. I didn’t realize I would welcome it so. The angst of the past decade was gone. Older now, I was no longer constantly asked whether I was pregnant or if we were trying, or if we just didn’t know how to make a baby. I no longer had to suffer the crude jokes and awful comparisons with fertile contemporaries. I relished the freedom of having my own time while my friends were caught up in PTA meetings and sports meets. But my unrequited dream lingered like a spectre and a long-beheld grief. Empty womb, empty arms; subtle, spiking sorrow.
The house I was born in, the house I grew up in, turned 49 today. It’s two years my senior, which tells you how old I am. My parents hail from Sampaloc, Manila. That was a pretty decent area in their day, but by the mid-1960s it had become too rough-and-tumble and risky for a