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December Blues

“Papa will be home soon,” she whispered to him, “he always goes home.”

Animation by Renzo Hipolito/TomasinoWeb



It was past eight in the evening, and the people of the village had never been more thrilled with the upcoming season as it was coming sooner than they expected.

Indeed, Christmas was only a few days away, the evening wind breezing through the trees, hinting its arrival.

While having dinner with his mother, the child stared at his spoon. His right hand turned it around, and his attention was caught not by the Christmas tree from the spoon’s reflection, but by how the tree has gained numerous things that were wrapped in papers of distinct colors, designs, and symbols.

After telling his mother he wasn’t that hungry anymore, she took the plates and washed the dishes first, then before bringing him to his bedroom. As he laid on his bed, the child’s thoughts still focused on what he saw under the tree.

There was a knock on his door, and his mother came in, with a glass of milk on her hand.

“I can’t sleep, mama,” the child said, scratching his eyes.

“Time to sleep,” she told him, “or you won’t get to open those gifts under the Christmas tree.”

The child, having understood what his mother said, or perhaps, a little bit of what she was trying to tell him, nodded and asked her where his father was.

“Papa will be home soon,” she whispered to him, “he always goes home.”

His mother knew his difficulty of drifting off to a deep sleep. He saw her smirking as she looked down at him. She handed him the glass, and while he drank, she told him again to have a good night’s sleep.

Then she turned out the lights and left him alone.

Something suddenly came up in his mind: He set the emptied glass aside and stepped down from his bed. Little did his mother know that she left the windows open, but it wasn’t the idea that came to the child’s mind. Instead, he approached the door, managed to reach for the knob — and he turned it.

The child reached for the doorknob once more ashe silently pulled the door. A faint sound of the door closing — the deadbolt locking it from the inside — echoed faintly along the short hall that would lead downstairs to the living room, then to the kitchen.

As a typical child, he didn’t tiptoe like what an adolescent would do; he carelessly walked towards the stairs, and step by step, not even sure if his mother even heard the door closing.

Surprisingly, he didn’t fall over as his attempt on walking down the stairs became a triumph for him.

Aha! he thought to himself. Mama didn’t notice me.

He was even proud of having left his bedroom without the knowledge of his mother, who would scold him whenever he, as other parents would call it, was “disobedient.”

In the living room, where the Christmas tree stood, he–with a grin on his face–walked closer towards it, his feet trembling in the cold, but it actually helped.

At first, he stared at the things covered in wrappings.

They look lovely! the child thought.

He bent down to reach for one and held it in his hand. It didn’t seem heavy for his soft palms and fingers. He settled himself on the floor and tried to tear off the wrappings, which was another triumph for him. Having accomplished what he set out to do for the night, the child giggled and held the newly-bought teddy bear. I love you, mama.

Little did the child see the letter attached on the wrappings; in a thin ballpen mark, it read: “Miss na kita anak. Love, Papa.”


He was waiting for a ride along the boulevard plagued with traffic; he was already standing under the waiting shed across his school for nearly half an hour.

The traffic was getting worse and he still had a lot to accomplish. Being impatient while waiting for a ride, he pulled out his earphones.

People ran towards buses that seemed to accommodate more passengers, and people complaining about the usual Manila traffic. He glanced at his watch: It was already eight in the evening. That would take him two hours or more to make it to their house, where his mother would be more or less waiting for him.

While he stood under the shed for another fifteen minutes, he watched the cars veering along the road. Then, he felt raindrops falling on his hair and the lens of his glasses. He slowly took a step backwards and found a bench where he settled himself.

Seated alone in the bench, he stared at the Christmas lights at his school from across the road. He saw students walking in and out of the premises — some with their umbrellas, the others braving the sudden downpour of rain. He opened his backpack, rummaging through his things for his umbrella.

Unfortunately — and unsurprisingly, he thought to himself — he left it at home. He remained seated at the bench under the shed and wondered what time would he arrive home.

Despite having his earphones on, he heard someone hurrying down the footbridge, and he saw a boy standing inches away from where he was seated.

The boy seemed vexed with how his uniform turned out: He obviously dared to walk under the rain. The boy rolled his sleeves up to his elbow, cursed at himself for being reckless.

And he, the unfortunate kid seated on the bench, thought, Poor guy. He must have had a bad day. The boy pulled out his phone and when nobody seemed to answer his call, he threw his phone along the road, where a car just passed by — and his phone crashed to the windshield.

He was surprised with what the boy did. Indeed, the boy was the kind of person he shouldn’t mess with on a Monday night; so, he ignored what he just saw and continued listening to his playlist.

When he looked up to see if a cab or even a jeepney pulled over to accommodate him, the boy walked towards the shed. The boy settled himself next to him, and they both remained silent for a minute, not glancing at each other, his hands on his phone, and the boy’s hands in his pockets.

“You know how it feels to be disowned?” the boy asked him.

He shook his head. “I have no idea,” he said.

“It freaking sucks,” the boy said angrily, “imagine having a father who hits you with anything he sees and forces you to leave the house today, and a mother who doesn’t even go home anymore? Yeah, I’m not that lucky.”

Then he asked the boy, “What made him disown you?”

The boy just stared at him, his eyes burning with sarcasm.

When he knew what the boy was implying, he remained silent and said he was sorry with how the boy was going through. Somehow, he wanted to comfort the boy for he knew how it felt to be isolated. However, he never knew the feeling of being disowned. He glanced at the boy, who, to his surprise, began to sob. He lifted his hands to cover his eyes as he cried, his nails on the verge of scratching his face.

He didn’t know what to do at first, but when the boy leaned on his shoulder, he handed him the left half of his earphones. The boy put it in his ear to listen to the playlist. He realized that the music he was listening to had calmed the boy. He didn’t bother if his shoulder had gone wet because of the boy’s soaked uniform.

He looked up at the shed’s roof where drops of rain poured down the muddy pavement. Having forgotten what time it was — and this time, he didn’t want to know how long he stayed under the shed with the boy.

It felt new for him to be with a boy, but it didn’t surprise him at all. When a jeepney pulled over by the shed, the boy suddenly rose from the bench. The boy told him that he had to go, and the next thing he saw was the jeepney leaving the shed, with the boy looking at him with a slight smile on his face.

As he arrived at their village, where every house was lit with Christmas lights and different kinds of lanterns, he walked all the way to his home and knocked on the door, and he waited for his mother to open it for him.

Mama greeted him with a kiss on his cheek and asked how his day at school went and how were his friends doing. All he said was, “The fireworks were nice, Mama.” He shut the door behind him while his mother walked upstairs hurriedly.

He wondered why she was in such a hurry. He shrugged at that thought, dropped his backpack on the floor, and slouched himself exhaustingly on the couch. While he waited for his mother, he thought of the boy from the shed and wondered how his Christmas would go.

Perhaps, school was more of a home for him than his actual home, he thought.

“Anak, look who’s home just in time for Christmas!” his mother said excitedly, as she bolted down the stairs.

For a moment, he had no idea what his mother was talking about. Then he heard the door of his bedroom open. He looked up and watched while the person slowly walked his way out of his room.

He didn’t recognize the person at all. He was a stranger to him, like the people, whom he never talked to, in their village. He looked new to his eyes. He glanced at his mother and made a gesture that would give her the expected question: Who was he?

His mother gave him a response, a smile that he had never witnessed with his own eyes. It was the kind of smile from his mother that he never saw because it gave him a feeling of something new — something that felt lovelier than home.

It was Papa.

by Ian Jozel Jerez



Huwag Mo Kaming Salingin

Pagkat habang may laban,
Patuloy ang sigaw namin:
Huwag mo kaming salingin.



Dibuho ni Jomari Robiso/TomasinoWeb.

Noong sinauna,

Bago man daw lumaya,

Ang sigaw ni Rizal

Sa Inang Espanya:

Huwag Mo Akong Salingin.


Nang dakipin ang Supremo,

Nang sa likod ay tumuhog ang bolo,

Ang sigaw ni Bonifacio

Sa kapwa Pilipino:

Huwag Mo Akong Salingin.


Nang dumating ang estrangherong Kano,

Sa pag-aastang Diyos ng mundo,

Ang sigaw ng rebolusyonaryong Pilipino

Nang agawin ng Kano ang panalo:

Huwag Mo Kaming Salingin.


At ginapi, pinatay, iniwan sa Hapon,

Ang perlas ng silangan ay inulan ng dugo,

Sumigaw sa kanayunan ang hukbong bayan

At tumindig, itinaas: Huwag Mo Kaming Salingin.


Ngunit ngayo’y sa’n nanggagaling

Ang mga katagang gasgas na rin,

Sa lansangan, sa nayon,

sa syudad, sa pabrika,

Maging sa pamantasan din.


Panahon na para mamulat,

Panahon na para magising,

Pagkat habang may laban,

Patuloy ang sigaw namin:

Huwag mo kaming salingin.


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Pagsasalin, napakalawak ng pangangailangan

Binigyang-diin ng isang propesor sa Departamento ng Filipino ng Kolehiyo ng Edukasyon ang “malawak na pangangailangan” sa larangan ng pagsasalin ng wikang Filipino noong Huwebes, ika-30 ng Agosto.



wennielyn fajilan presenting
Kuha ni Alexa Taay/TomasinoWeb.

Binigyang-diin ng isang propesor sa Departamento ng Filipino ng Kolehiyo ng Edukasyon ang “malawak na pangangailangan” sa larangan ng pagsasalin ng wikang Filipino noong Huwebes, ika-30 ng Agosto.

Sa ginanap na Siyasik 2018: Pagbabasa ng mga Saliksik-Papel, iginiit ni Asst. Prof. Wennielyn Fajilan, Ph.D. na “napakalawak pa ng pangangailangan” sa translation studies, translation criticism at translation history.

“Yung translation of meaning from one text to another ay batayan ng pagsasalin. Kapag tiningnan sa ibang lipunan, makikita na hindi lang pala iyon ang value niya,” wika ni Fajilan

Sa saliksik-papel ni Fajilan na pinamagatang “Pananalig sa Bata: Kasaysayan at Panunuri ng Muling Pagsasalaysay at Pagsasaling Pambata sa Filipino,” inilahad din niya ang kasulukuyang kalagayan ng pagsasalin dito sa ating bansa partikular na sa mga panitikang pambata.

“Kapag nagsasalin ng panitikang pambata, nagsasalin din ng pagkabata. Bitbit ng tagasalin ang ating pagkabata” at makapangyarihan ang mga ilustrador bilang tagasalin ng panitikang pambata, ani Fajilan.

“Hindi mo titingnan yung bata ng tabularasa. Mayroon na siya kaalaman. Kapos siya sa karanasan pero hindi ibig sabihin na kapos siya sa kaalaman,” dagdag pa niya.

Nabanggit din ni Fajilan na ang pagsasalin ay “migration” at walang pagsasalin na parehas dahil “magkakaiba ng pokus.”

Ang programang Siyasik ay naglalayong hindi lamang maibida ang mga saliksik-papel ng mga guro kundi mas makatulong pa sa pagpapaunlad ng wikang Filipino at makapag-ambag sa pag-aaral nito.

Ginanap ang nasabing programa sa Gusaling Albertus Magnus kahapon, sa pangunguna ng Departamento ng Filipino ng Kolehiyo ng Edukasyon ng Unibersidad. John Aaron Pangilinan



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Isang liham para sa bagong, ganap na Tomasino

Naalala mo pa ba ang mga panahong halos maiyak ka na sa kahahabol sa mga dokumentong kailangang mong ipasa para makapasok?



walking thomasian art
Likhang-sining ni Kaye Iral/TomasinoWeb.

Naalala mo pa ba ang mga panahong halos maiyak ka na sa kahahabol sa mga dokumentong kailangang mong ipasa para makapasok? O ‘di kaya yung mga sandaling halos mabaliw ka na sa kahihintay sa pasukan? Naalala mo rin ba yung mga gabing paikot-ikot ka lang sa kama at wala ka nang ibang magawa kung hindi ang pumikit at taimtim mong ipagdasal na sana kayanin mo ang lahat?

Pumipintig. Sumisigaw. Tiyak naramdaman mo rin ang pagbilis ng tibok ng iyong puso noong tumawid ka sa makasaysayang Arko. Sa wakas, isa ka nang ganap na Tomasino. Sa karagatan ng dilaw at ginto, naramdaman mong kabilang ka rito.

At ngayo’y nag-uumpisa na muli ang mga klase. Mararanasan mo na ulit ang mga sandaling tinatamad kang bumangon dahil kulang ka sa tulog, ngunit kailangan mo pa rin pumasok sa kabila ng pagod. Minsan, hindi ka na kakain ng almusal at gagawin mo nalang ang natitirang mga gawain bago ka pumasok. Mararanasan mo na ulit ang pagmamadali sa pagtakbo bago pa magsimula ang Angelus. Babalik nanaman tayo sa paghiling sa kung sino mang nakikinig na sana hindi nanaman sira ang LRT at mabilis ang daloy ng trapiko.

Sa mga darating na linggo ay mararamdaman mo na ulit ang bigat na dinadala ng isang estudyante. Mas uunahin mo ang pagtapos sa iyong mga takdang aralin o pag-aaral sa isang pagsusulat kaysa sa pagtulog. Tila biglang bumibilis ang takbo ng oras habang ikaw ay natataranta sa sobrang dami ng iyong mga gawain. Mapapaisip ka nanaman kung para saan at para kanino mo ba ito ginagawa?

Lagi mong tandaan na hindi lahat ng kaalaman ay nasa PowerPoint slide ng iyong guro, ito ay iyong mapupulot sa iba’t ibang uri ng tao na iyong makakasalamuha sa loob at labas ng Unibersidad.

Ang tunay na kaalaman ay iyong makukuha sa mga panahong bumagsak ka at tinalikuran ka ng mga taong inakala mong sasamahan ka hanggang sa dulo. Ang tunay na kaalaman ay iyong makakamit kapag minulat mo ang iyong mga mata. Ang tunay na kaalaman ay iyong mapupulot sa pagmamahal hindi lamang sa iyong ginagawa para sa pangarap, kung ‘di para rin sa bayan.

Lagi mo ring tandaan na lahat ng iyong mga paghihirap ay may kapalit. Kahit gaano pa kahirap o kabigat ang bawat gawain ay magiging maganda at masagana ang bunga nito. Huwag ka lang sumuko dahil magiging maayos rin ang lahat.

Kaya kung napapagod ka na, bigyan mo ng pagkakataon ang iyong sarili na magpahinga. Kung sa tingin mo na ikaw ay naliligaw sa lawak ng daan at hindi mo na alam kung ipagpapatuloy mo pa, bigyan mo ng oras ang iyong sarili para makapag-isip.

Ang aking pagpasok sa Unibersidad ng Santo Tomas ay isa lamang sa mga mararaming kahilingan na aking natupad. Bukod dito, ito ay ang aking pangalawang tahanan, at sa tahanang ito ay nakilala ko ang mga taong tinuring kong pangalawang pamilya. Kahit malayo layo pa ang daang tatahakin, masasabi kong lubos na akong napamahal dito. 

Nagbabago na ang lahat, at kasama na ako dito. J. B.


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