Aletheia, Truth Personified

Aletheia, Truth Personified

(retold from an Aesop’s fable)

The name Aletheia, for me, has always been enthralling. If you have it for a name, then you should know it is beautiful. I say this not only because Aletheia is a name pleasing to the ears, but also because it is a name with a virtuous translation. Aletheia is translated into the word Truth, which is personified in an Aesop’s fable. Though this fable is Greek in origin, it is preserved only in a Latin text. Aletheia then becomes Veritas in the Latin. This piece of literature I am about to share belongs to the collection of works credited to the famous Aesop, a slave storyteller believed to have lived in Ancient Greece. Aesop was renowned for his timeless stories that portray important lessons in life.

Prometheus, that potter who gave shape to our new generation, decided one day to sculpt the form of Veritas (Aletheia, Truth), using all his skill so that she would be able to regulate people’s behavior. As he was working, an unexpected summons from mighty Jupiter (Zeus) called him away. Prometheus left cunning Dolus (Trickery) in charge of his workshop; Dolus had recently become one of the god’s apprentices. Fired by ambition, Dolus used the time at his disposal to fashion with his sly fingers a figure of the same size and appearance as Veritas with identical features. When he had almost completed the piece, which was truly remarkable, he ran out of clay to use for her feet. The master returned, so Dolus quickly sat down in his seat, quaking with fear. Prometheus was amazed at the similarity of the two statues and wanted it to seem as if all the credit were due to his own skill. Therefore, he put both statues in the kiln and when they had been thoroughly baked, he infused them both with life: sacred Veritas walked with measured steps, while her unfinished twin stood stuck in her tracks. That forgery, that product of subterfuge, thus acquired the name of Mendacium (Pseudologos, Falsehood), and I readily agree with people who say that she has no feet: every once in a while something that is false can start off successfully, but with time Veritas is sure to prevail.

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Rainbows

Rainbows

It comes after the rain has settled down

‘Tis Earth, thy Majesty, who wears this crown

Streaks of light, a single arc in the sky

O’er this vibrant ray of colors the seraphs fly

Creatures sing songs and proclaim praises

To a picturesque scene that the sky embraces

It adds beauty to the wide blanket of blue

And awaits for one person; it longs to touch you

Education For The New Generation

Education For The New Generation

I have been reading and hearing a lot of buzz from the issue of the move of the opening month of the academic year in many schools in the Philippines. Some offered positive nods, while others put their thumbs down. With this at hand, is it timely that I will be sharing a topic regarding education? I believe so. I actually believe that education is timeless, and that people are lifelong learners. So bear with me in this one, because the new generation needs to realize that education is important.

What is education? Education, in simple terms, is the action or process of educating or of being educated. It is also defined as the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools. Education has transcended many eras and has continued to evolve up to this day.

With each passing time it has given many contributions to the betterment of people’s lives, from simple agreements between communities to vast unions between nations. Since the introduction of education to this nation, it has sparked a sense of responsibility to dedicated educationalists and a sense of necessity to enthusiastic individuals.

“The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth.” This quote from Erasmus clearly emphasizes the importance of education and its proper implementation. Yet nowadays it is observed that the willingness of people to learn and be educated has dulled, seen most especially in the youth. The youth these days prefer to do less and ask for more. The dream and struggle for abundance and greener pastures has long been forgotten by these people as they continue to wait for the next Prometheus to come.

But it is never too late for the new generation. Now is the time to wake and stand up from indolence and make a difference. This can be achieved when learning and education is given value by teachers and students alike. There is still hope for the new generation with that inculcated in people’s minds. As Ernie Fletcher has said, “education is our greatest opportunity to give an irrevocable gift to the next generation.”

A Salute To A Tree

A Salute To A Tree

(a Henry van Dyke poem)

Many a tree is found in the wood,

And every tree for its use is good.

Some for the strength of the gnarled root,

Some for the sweetness of flower or fruit,

Some for shelter against the storm,

And some to keep the hearthstone warm.

Some for the roof, some for the beam,

And some for a boat to branch the storm.

In the wealth of the wood since the world began,

The trees have offered their gifts to man.

I have camped in the whispering forest of pines,

I have slept in the shadow of olives and vines,

In the knees of an oak, at the foot of a palm,

I have found good rest and slumber’s balm.

And now, when the morning gilds the boughs,

Of the vaulted elm at the door of my house,

I open the window and make a salute:

“God bless thy branches and feed thy root!

Thou hast lived before, live after me,

Thou ancient, friendly, faithful tree!”

The Green Children

The Green Children

(based on an English legend)

A fairly long time had come and gone since I chanced upon the legend of the green children. At the time I was quite fascinated by the story that I began writing a work out of it. I structured most of the plot from the near-contemporary accounts by William of Newsburgh’s Historia rerum Anglicarum and Ralph of Coggeshall’s Chronicum Anglicanum, written in about 1189 and 1220 respectively, and added only a few bits to circle the piece. The outcome is what you will be reading in a while.

This story portrays the equal positive and negative rejoinders of natives towards newcomers. One can uproot a realization from this legend of the veracity of society through the years.

The year 1170 welcomed the villagers with its earthen atmosphere. It was already summer, but because of the odd weather that they were having, it was more like autumn. A mixture of twigs and leaves had detached and fallen from the trees, leaving behind hues of yellow and brown spread everywhere. Bundles and wisps of white clouds had cloaked the sky, a faint glow emanating from a distant source. The time for harvest had finally come, but the scenario did not quite coincide with the occasion.

As I gaze upon the now grass-grown area where the wolf pits had once been located, I remember the memory of the last wolf in England that had perished in one of the hands of those depths. Those were the same wolf pits that had given this village its name, Woolpit, believed to have originated from Wolfpittes. Those very wolf pits had been witnesses to a peculiar event, once telling one fabled story.

Twenty-seven years ago, at some point in the reign of King Stephen, an extraordinary brink in time had occurred. On that very same day, as the village in Suffolk of East Anglia, England get ready for harvest, two children, a boy and his sister, are discovered at the mouth of the old wolf pits.

The astonished residents had swarmed the area at the sight of the children. The sudden appearance of two kids had already flabbergasted the townspeople, but what had shocked them more was the viridescent color of their skin and their indistinguishable speech. The people’s curiosity and fright had begun to attack them all at once. They were hesitant to touch or even get near the children.

The increasing number of people had also begun to terrify the children. At the sight of this, a couple had approached the children and made some gestures to invite them to the home of Sir Richard de Caine at Wilkes.

They were welcomed in the sanctuary of the kind and well-off knight. He invited the children to the dining hall to eat the food that was prepared for them. Although it seemed that they were both starving, they only gawked at the food and refused to come near it. For several days, the boy and his sister did not taste nor touch the food offered to them until they came across some green beanstalks. They made gestures to bring the beans to them and proceeded to try and open the stalks to get at the beans. They were shown how to open the pods and from that moment they ate beans and nothing else for a long time.

But for some unfortunate reason, the boy remained depressed all the while and soon succumbed to illness and died eventually. The girl remained in good health though and time came that she gradually adapted to normal food and in time lost her green color completely. She was baptized and was given the name “Agnes” and lived in the service of the knight.

Agnes was taught how to speak English, and by the time she had learned it and was able to speak it, she related the story of how they had come to be at the entrance of the old wolf pits. She explained that they came from a land where the sun never shone, and the light was like our twilight all the time. Everything there was green according to her, and she had named it St. Martin’s Land.

She was unable to account for their arrival at Woolpit. They had been herding their father’s cattle and flocks when they chanced upon a cavern. They entered this grotto and heard the sound of bells. Agnes and her brother were so enchanted by the sweet music that they stayed exploring the cave and found themselves at the entrance of the old wolf pits. Agnes was 13-years-old then, and her brother was two years younger.

She remained employed as a servant in Richard de Caine’s household for nine years where she was considered to be “very wanton and impudent” throughout the time of her service to the kind knight. At the year 1154, at the age of 24, she married a royal official named Richard Barre. She bore their first child a year after their marriage.

The story had been told to me ever since I was a child. And the story of the green children of Woolpit had explained the origin of my birthmark, a green-tinged spot on my right shoulder.

Heart Breaker

Heart Breaker

My heart continues to drain and bleed

For the wounds you left unhealed.

The ache won’t stop as it breeds

With a malady that never yields.

 

You were a shock of radiant suns

And I was shadowed and gray.

But I felt that something had begun

When you looked and smiled my way.

 

A hand enclosed all of my fingers

And I looked to find it was yours.

This was a moment where I could linger

When you started to stun me more.

 

I started imagining a life with you

Of surreal pictures in my head.

I willed to have this love be true

And I held on to the words you said.

 

But you only ensnared me with strings

To be a puppet of your schemes.

False reveries and whims you did bring,

And I was a fool to believe such a dream.

 

Never will I surrender myself again

To the felonies of a heart breaker.

I believe now that in the end,

What didn’t kill me, made me stronger.

I Have A Dream

I Have A Dream

A new year always gives us the chance of a fresh start, the chance of renewal. And with this chance we set out new goals, new plans, new hopes, new dreams. This piece is a construct from the framework of Martin Luther King’s speech on August 28, 1963. Allow me to share the hope and dream I have for the future that I know we all look forward to.

God created the human beings with their outstanding intellectual capabilities to be able to discover the secrets and ways of the world. Through the years, the human intelligence has really proved its wonders up until now, where handy inventions and gadgets, manlike robots and skyscraping infrastructures continue to rule this fast progressing world. But the fast pace of development with the human brain its king brought with it worldwide crises and hazards, as we see it now in its common form, war.

I say to you today my friends, although life has dimmed and reversed into its dull side, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in my sole heart, a heart full of hope and faith. I have a dream that one day I will be living a flourishing life. I have a dream that one day, all my visions and hopes for myself and for my loved ones would be of my reach. I have a dream that one day I can use my profession and the skills I acquired to help my country in the predicament we face today. I have a dream that one day peace would reign in all nations throughout the world, winning over adversity.

I have a dream today. I have a dream that the minds of the citizens of the world are able to work efficiently and constructively, with the guidance of God, to be stewards of nations, where technology is put to good use, and where life is preserved and protected.

I have a dream today. I have a dream that I will be seeing the earth as a free planet, a world of equality and bliss, a world without chaos and misery.

This is my hope. This is the faith that I have built and stood up for, and with this faith I will be able to make a difference, to enable a change from one single act. With this faith I will be able to stand up and bring peace back to the world, with the aid of God, and with our hands held together.

And so let every man see the marvels of human intelligence in its beneficial state. Let every community share many conversations but the same ideas. Let every nation see many opinions but the same thoughts. Let the world fall to many diversities but the same sentiments.

When finally this is attained, enabling peace to reign once more, the place they call Paradise will arise from its deep slumber and will spring forth from the core of the society, spreading its luster and radiance. The world will be living in prosperity indeed, with God’s constant help and eternal grace.