Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A White Lady in the Kitchen

My real sighting of a ghost came years later when I was just about ten or eleven years old. I could remember some particulars as I relate this to you now. It was near midnight, on one weekend, when most of the members of our household stayed wide awake to watch a television special; it was a late night movie if I am not mistaken.

Usually when the night comes, I had felt dutiful always to check the back door if they were safely locked and shut tightly. That night, before I sat to watch the show, I reconnoitered the kitchen and locked the door after reassuring that every chore in the kitchen has been done. As the show started, I felt a strong urge to relieve myself that I headed for the comfort room, situated just to the left of the kitchen. As I turned towards the direction of the kitchen, I saw a figure of a woman in white gown, with her hair down to her knees, walked pass the hall leading to the kitchen.

" Is someone still in the kitchen?" I asked.

"Everyone is here. Why?" quipped my Aunt Coney.

"I just saw a woman in white walked by in the kitchen hall!" I exclaimed.

"Do not kid us like that." She warned.

"Really. I did saw a woman"

We all stared at each other and after a moment, we all scurried for the main bedroom. Every one was blaming me for playing some wicked game on them and I kept on denying them.

"It must be your imagination." they all indicted me.

Half an hour later, we were back in front of the television while I was feeling so sick already from fear. I had no choice but to join them in the living room otherwise I would be alone in the room.

While the television was glaring, a sudden wind blew forcefully from the window and rain poured instantaneously as rumbling thunder shook the house. It was just another bad weather, as we disregarded the weather's tumult and stay stuck to the television show. Perhaps the wind was so whipping that small bits of stones were thrown at our direction, entering thru the window.

"Damn it. Someone is throwing stones at us," Coney said and we all peered into the window to investigate the malefactor and we find exactly nobody outside as more bits of stone came at us. The sound of thunder became extremely forceful that the lights went out. By this time, I could already feel the fear that had enveloped not only me, but also the rest of them; fear has a smell I realized that moment. In the middle of the living room, a small whirlwind was lifting the small stones towards the ceiling in a circular motion and while the stones circled above ground, the wind suddenly stopped and the bits of stone fell simultaneously to the ground. We all screamed and run to the bedroom.

It was strange that the day after, no matter how patently strange the experience we had the night before, everyone was merely jesting about it while Hadja Saniya simply dismissed it as the playful imagination of our minds, us who were still tender in the head. She was deep in slumber when the strange happenstance occurred. Even those who were present in that strange occurrence simply forgot about it, never mentioning it again. My Aunt Coney just did not talk about it. My brothers Nasrullah and Akmad and my sister Rimaisa just went to the yards and play the usual games, as if nothing happened. If I remember well, my cousin Nimfa and Mernisa was present then and similarly, they never took it so seriously despite the common terror we had felt that night. Where in contrast, that unusual night were etched forever in my mind.

The eldest who was there was Aunt Coney. I had expected her to convince the others that some spirits really played fun on us but she acted as if the strange night was merely a usual occurrence, and did go on with the ordinary chores, as if nothing happened, as if she was expecting such things to happen ordinarily. After that night in fact, she had slowly gained isolation from the rest of us, at least it was how I have observed her to be. She would walk along and would give me that iniquitous stare that I felt somehow uncomfortable that she had suddenly become so mindful of my presence that she would shout at me easily if for example I happened to touch the expensive jar in the living room.

I reckoned that she had blamed me for that strange occurrence in that one strange night.

From my upcoming novel/semi-autobiography "A Prophet's Life".

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Golden State Warriors Rained from Outside to Out-Strategy Ageing/Rebuilding Dallas Mavericks

FINAL SCORE: Golden State Warriors 133 – Dallas Mavericks 103

It’s a familiar story. Shoot well from outside and clear the lanes for inside plays. It’s a classic strategy that the Golden State Warrior’s held on to nail their second win in four outings. They just rained from the rainbow territory in the first half of the game allowing their big men to feel at ease inside the key area and blasted the ageing/rebuilding Dallas Mavericks 133 to 103.

Warrior’s coach Steve Kerr has some straight directive – shoot well from outside and everything comes out easy. I wonder if this will make them predictable all season like, “how to beat the warriors” manta, is by taking away their three’s and allowing their inside games. We’ll see from now on.

Monday, October 23, 2017

LA Lakers: A Young Team with Offensive Strengths But Soft in Defense

FINAL SCORE : New Orleans Pelicans 119 - LA Lakers 112.

While hoping Lonzo Ball would make further affirmation with another Laker’s win, the NBA live stream have shown how the Showtime team boasts of offensive strengths in Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball, along with Brandon Ingram, BUT shows apparent lack of defense, or a very weak defensive focus that allows easy baskets from the Pelicans in today’s game.

Coach Luke Walton should better look up to this weakness as it could be like a chronic disease that would lead their season to woeful downswings.

At times in the game, you could just see a Pelican just swoosh through towards the hoop while a Laker is just standing by and staring at the points made.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

What Are Illegal Water Service Connections? Brochure Download

For more in details and information, please download the info-material "What Are Illegal Water Service Connections?" on this LINK. DOWNLOAD.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Simariki Island: Sacred Landbridge to a Journey of a Thousand Miles by the Samal-Banguingui Tribes People

A Speech By Caloy T. Bandaying on Bonifacio Day c. 2016

As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu!

Friends, companions, my fellow citizens of Zamboanga, honoured guests and dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen, Buenas Dias con el todo!

This day, we mark the celebration of Bonifacio Day, the natal day of one of our bravest and most courageous national hero, Gat Andres Bonifacio, a true leader who had symbolized nationalism and liberty with so much fervor and intensity that in our history, no other personage had lived such blazing life as he had lived. He is one great hero that always remind us that the road towards peace and freedom is often the most daunting and perilous, as Bonifacio himself had lost his life, in the most brutal of manner, towards the cause of his Filipino brethren, for freedom and honor of Motherland.

It is but a consolation to say, as a Filipino bereft of any foreign control and subjugation - we all can say that Bonifacio’s death had not gone to naught after all.

Today also, in this very moment and time, we stand upon this ground that have been thrown into the whirlwind of confusion, into the bitter hands of conflict and chaos; Firstly, due to one woeful memory that had occurred just merely three years past, where in 2013, the Siege of Zamboanga was said to have been staged from this very island from where we all stand now, among several other outlying areas, within this island of Simariki, where armed MNLF combatants have first staged their insidious plan of attack, which in the days after, had proven to be tremendously destructive, ultimately disparaging and long-suffering; that on that one fateful dawn, when the sky was not yet kissed by the morning sun, the city had awaken to the rudest of all awakening, of what was seemingly the coming of a peaceful morning, had turned into the precursor of hellish troubles as blasting sound of gunfire swooshed into the early morning sky and the most terrible panic shook the hearts of the city’s citizen.

And yet, in this land of us, in the southern tip of the nation, the land of Mindanao continues to struggle for freedom, from violence and misunderstanding and disunity.

In a time of greatest communication, of advancement in space and Internet, we have belabored and had hoped to the fullest that peace and understanding could be attained finally, that we have finally reached our destination.

And yet the Siege of Zamboanga still had to happen; despite these arduous efforts towards the pursuit for lasting peace among men of different tribes and creed in our Island of Mindanao – this seemingly endless pursuit for peace and unity.

In a time of artful technology, the potentialities of human skill,  of what the human mind could achieve, humankind had indeed achieve so many things, more than what was expected even by the most intelligent of men in decades past. Now we communicate through gadgets so small we hold it in our palms, converse even through the farthest lands, across the widest oceans. We have built satellites and voyagers that reached the farthest planets. We are even close to creating humans out of the cloned roots of a sheep.

Yet, in these times of advancement – have we achieve what every gadgetry and what every human wealth could not? Despite the advancement in human skills and abilities – have we achieved peace and understanding amongst us, amongst peoples, amongst different tribes and amongst different religion?

This is the longing question that asked and longed for an answer for so long now. I am not one to berate anyone else, or any other for these dissensions; in fact, I myself could be attributed how peace and conflicts still remains within our midst.

Yet, we do not choose to fail; we do not choose to retreat, for no matter how long is the path to peace, I believe that we should hold still, that no amount of armed conflict could dissuade us from reaching our destination, our ultimate goal of peace in our Fatherland.

Like a sailboat amidst gorging wind in a stormy weather, we will hold our sail down if we need to hold it down, and we will just let it fly again, and let sail if the rain and storm had stopped and calmed, and with the sunny weather, we will keep on sailing, and voyaging until we reach our promised land.

This long quest for peace reminds me of the journeys of my forefathers, the tribe of Samal-Banguingui, who had journeyed long distances throughout the seas of Southeast Asia, that had brought so many of us, including me, to these shores that we all live now.

If it would not be so much of a disturbance to you, let me narrate the humble beginnings and the ardous journeys that had been taken by my forefathers.

Simariki is also close to me and my family, and among the Samal banguingui tribesmen, as this is one of the known point of arrivals for the Banguingui tribesmen, coming from a journey of a thousand miles and a thousand waves, of a wave of emigration that began in the farthest part of Southeast Asia, from the Riau Islands of Indonesia, towards historically known localities that had served as land bridges that had finally brought us here in the flower city of Zamboanga, from Buan and Panglima Sugala in Tawi-Tawi, to Talipao and Tongkil islands in Sulu, towards here, and then even to a well-known island at the south of  Mindanao, named after the tribe, the Samal island in Davao del Norte.

In fact, one of my forefathers, Baharaim Bandaying was buried here and holds great remembrance for me and members of my clan.

Our tribe, the Samal- Banguingui, is known to be peace-loving and civilized tribe that it is so infrequent that any of us might be heard to have created chaos or disturbance in the community. Humility and respect to others are traits that we hold dear in our hearts, learned from our elders, who scold us with bitterest and vilest of words if we happen to disrespect any of our fellowmen.

Yet, despite of these claims, which could be self-serving the most, and may you excuse me for my excesses if there would be – our tribe have also been embroiled in ancient conflicts and turmoil, the most memorable of which was the involvement of the Sultanate of Sulu in the civil war that had enveloped the Sultanate of Sulu in 1660, where in order to aid the besieged Sultan of Brunei Sultan Muhyiddin,  then Sultan of Sulu Sultan Salahud-Din Bakhtiar had ordered his naval forces to come to the aid of the Bruneian sultan and according to historical narrative, it was this military aid that had become the key to turn the civil war into the side of the Bruneian sultanate, quelling rebellion and challenge to his throne that thereon, as a sign of greatest gratitude, the Sultan Muhyiddin had ceded the entire state of Sabah, one of its tributary, to the Sultan Bakhtiar.

The Samal-Banguingui were fervent voyager of the sea, zealous and comfortable with the sea wind that throughout the ancient histories of our lands, they have thrive as seafarers and sea traders, and had even been embroiled in not a few times, in the perilous occupation of sea pirates, creating havoc and chaos in the old seas of Southeast Asis, invoking fear and terror to navigators and shippers that had plied the routes within those seas.

During Spanish colonization, whence the Spanish military had repeatedly and incessantly attempted to take hold of the territories in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, the Sultan of Sulu had depended on his navy, the Samal-Banguinguis to quell these invasions, staging countermoves towards the shoes of Zamboanga and even as far away as Luzon up north.

And yet, this is not to unduly shore up our tribe my dear fellows, but it is with humility that I relay to you the struggles and challenges that had been faced by my forefathers, just in order to reach a destination of a thousand miles, of a thousand tears, of a thousand longings and sufferings -  of a journey of the Samal-Banguingui tribe, that had begun hundreds of years ago in the Indonesian islands of Rhiu, per account by expert historians, towards the shore of Sabah, then in Buan island in Tawi-tawi, through the strongholds in Tongkil, then Basilan, and then here in Zamboanga, who along with the Subanens, we have been the original dwellers of these lands.

A journey that had led some of us towards Olutanga and then in Samal Island off the coast of Davao.

My friends and companions, it is my hope that our quest for peace, our aim for understanding amongst different tribe, race and religion, will find its long-sought destination, no matter how long and arduous the path may be, no matter if the seas connotes storms and hurricanes that bring our sails down, for in every storm, there would be calm and windy weather to come, and our voyage towards peace shall continue once again. Thank you very much to one and all!

Time as Our Guidance For A Better Tomorrow

A Speech by Amilpasa T. Bandaying

As old as existence itself, Time is even defined as “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future”.

Ladies and gentlemen, honored guests and visitors, speaking of time is quite a challenging task, since no one could ever be expert on this matter, as we have not studied time like we study many scientific issues and daily existence, and no one had invented time, that we realize that time is ultimately of divine reality. So often we ask ourselves, do we have a grasp time?

I am now reminded about what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had once said about time, as narrated by Ibn Abbas, that “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good” (Bukhari 8/421)

That indeed time is God-given, for us to to utilize wisely, for our own benefit and health, that if we misuse time, it becomes our own perdition instead.

It is but a very good timing that I speak of time as the world today is on a threshold of so many radical and monumental changes, of advancement in technology, the great changes about how the way we live, and thereon the way we make our living.

Time is a free force. It does not wait for any one. It is commonly said that time and tide waits for no man. Time is money. A minute not usefully spent is an eternal loss. You can never get back the lost minute. One has to strike the iron when it is hot. The time flies and never returns. If you waste time, it wastes you.

In this hurried modern life, time becomes the most vital and important, that if we waste time just for a single minute, we lost great profits and also opportunities.

In Islam, we are instructed to use time wisely, using our time in doing beneficial things especially those that make us closer to Allah and earn His Mercy. in our own hands, and use it for own advantages.

We must plan time carefully and use it as guidance for us for a better future. It is not for us to waste time, that even in our free time, we must use it for the benefits of ourselves and perhaps, of others.

This thought is of great importance to you since you are very youthful and have the feeling of vigor and dynamism, which would incline you to go out there in the world, in your professional and personal lives, like a raging bull, out to conquer the world.

This is a natural thing, and yet, if we will not stop for a while and make this realization about time, any haste would merely end us up in great waste, even in harm and negativity.

That it is of great advice that we seek the hands of time like a brother, a companion, most importantly, as a guidance that will see us through in our future successes.

We must plan time – not merely by the hour or by the day, even by the months and by the years.
Like for example, by next year, I have planned in time, to have a good job, in five years, I planned to earn a law degree, two years hence, I am going to get married and have a house and perhaps a car. And so on and so forth.

Do not be swayed innocently by unplanned time, just to float and swing by the hands of time and tide, like a paper in the wind. Time and tide waits for no man. If you will get behind, that will be you own fault. Take hold of time. Be the master of your own faith

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Are You Ready for the New Jeepney?

Here's how the new Jeepneys would look like:

Under the government's Jeepney Modernization Program, old jeepneys will have to be replaced with low-emission and Euro 4-compliant units, with the units themselves being provided for by the government, possibly under easy payment schemes for Filipino drivers. Majorly, this program seem to be more focused on environmental improvement and compliance.

But transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operaytor Nationwike (Piston) immediately frowns on this and launches nationwide strike. So no class tomorrow.

What happens to the old jeepneys? They'd be scrapped of course. Including culture and tradition...I bet.

Read more on this link for a more comprehensive discussion on the Jeepney Modernization Program of the government.