Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Spring Again!

A host of golden daffodils

The first sign of sunshine and parks are overpopulated.


Street leading to the Frauenmuseum in Bonn

Frauemmuseum in Bonn

Too early yet for the full blooming 


O HEART of Spring!
by John Shaw Neilson
 
Spirit of light and love and joyous day,
So soon to faint beneath the fiery Summer:
Still smiles the Earth, eager for thee alway:
Welcome art thou, soever short thy stay,
Thou bold, thou blithe newcomer!
Whither, O whither this thy journeying,
O heart of Spring?

O heart of Spring!
After the stormy days of Winter’s reign,
When the keen winds their last lament are sighing,
The Sun shall raise thee up to life again:
In thy dim death thou shalt not suffer pain:
Surely thou dost not fear this quiet dying?
Whither, O whither this thy journeying,
O heart of Spring?

O heart of Spring!
Youth’s emblem, ancient and unchanging light,
Uncomprehended, unconsumed, still burning:
Oh that we could, as thou, rise from the night
To find a world of blossoms lilac-white,
And long-winged swallows unafraid returning…
Whither, O whither this thy journeying,
O heart of Spring?

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Remembering Childhood. Easter Sunday and the Salubong Procession (In Filipino)



Mga Yapak na Angel 

Mga angel kami pagdating ng Kwaresma at buwan ng Mayo para sa Alay. May mahabang puting damit ako na tinahi ng aking ina. Ang disenyo ay kinuha sa isang istampita. Ang aking mga pakpak ay yari sa puting karto na dinikitan ng mga balahibong  galing sa mga bibe ng kapitbahay. May halong din mga bulak na ginagamit din naming parang snow sa aming Christmas tree.

Ilang taon din akong naging angel. Pagtinitignan ko yun aming mga lumang litrato, isa akong matabang angel na may buhok mais. Sabi ng nanay ko, ako daw ay isang malaking bulas na bata, anak daw ng German na nagdonate ng dugo sa aking ina  bago ako lumabas sa dulo ng damo, ang paliwanag sa amin kung nasaan kami nuong panahon ng Hapon. „Wala pa kayo sa dulo ng damo, hindi pa ninyo alam yun.“ Tapos ang paliwanag sa mga iba pang tanong.

 Masayang maging angel sa buwan ng Mayo. Siyempre may kainan, hindi matagal ang dasalan at masaya ang prusisyon. Taon-taon, may imported na reyna ng mga angel na aming kasama sa prusisyon na umiikot sa Canlubang na magtatapos sa isang kubol na kung saan nila iaalay ang mga bulaklak. At pagkatapos ay litratohang aking kinakatakutan dahil sa  mga  flashbulbs na akala ko ay nagtatalsikan kaya ako ay nagtatago pag oras na ng litratohan.  Ang nakakainis lang, hindi kami nakakakain at iniuwi agad kami ng aming nanay. Paghatid niya sa aming magkapatid na angel, babalik naman siya sa handaan samantalang kami ay sandwich lang.

          Sa araw ng Biyernes Santo ang simula ng aming kalbaryo. Papaakyat kami sa simbahan nang makita ko yun mga kaklase kong mga lalake, nagpapadausdos sila sa mataas na ground ng simbahan. Kantiyaw ni Domingo T. „Sige nga, lipad ka.” Bibilisan ko na lang ang pagpasok sa simbahan para di madinig ang kanilang mga kantiyaw at makasama pa yun ibang mga angel. Kung gaano kaming katagal sa loob ng simbahan ay di ko na alam; may mga natutulog na anghel, may mga pinapaypayan hanggang sa matapos ang seremonya. Isang tambak na mga angel na may mga kartong pakpak maglalakad kasama sa gabing prusisyon. At kung medyo napapagod na ang mga angel o inaantok, may magsusubo sa amin ng kendi para mawala ang antok at pagod. Wala naman kainan pagkatapos ng prusisyon. Wala rin sandwich. Uwian na lang.

          Madami din naman ang aking  childhood happening na aking natatandaan. Naandiyang pasayawin kami sa Casa de Nipa minsang nagbirthday si Mr. Jose Yulo. At tandang tanda ko rin na ako ay nagtago sa mga halamanan pagkatapos ng aming sayaw sa takot na litratohan ng may flashbulbs. Nakita lang yata ako ng teacher naming sa Kindergarten kaya nakaladkad ako para kuhanan ng litrato.

          Nandiyang kuhanin akong flower girl sa mga kasalan pero mukhang yun mga kasal na naging flower girl ako, nagkahiwalayan yata yun mga mag-aasawa. Wala din akong nakuhang souvenir na litrato.

          Panahon na uli ng kwaresma. Ewan ko lang bakit wala kaming eksena pag Pasko. Naisip ko lang ngayon na baka kasi isang angel lang ang kailangan para pandikit duon sa taas ng belen.

          Linggo ng Pagkabuhay ang pinakahihintay naming mga angel at ang Salubong na kung saan yun prusisyo ay nahahati para sa mga kababaihan na kasama ang nagluluksang Mahal na Birhen at ang mga kalalakihan naman’y kasama ang Mahal na Hesus na nabuhay. Magsasalubong ang prusisyon duon sa tinatawag na Galilea, isang mataas na struktura na may mga  palaspas at disenyong  bituin at alapaap.  Sa ilalim nito magaganap ang salubong.
          Kumakanta na kami mga angel ng Regina Coeli Laetare, Alleluia at nagsasabog ng mga bulaklak sa birhen habang pinapanood namin ang pagbubukas ng “langit” at mga naglalaglagan mga bulaklak at pagbaba ng magandang angel.

          Pero walang lumabas na angel kundi narinig naming ang iyak na ayaw niyang bumaba. Iyak pa siya ng iyak nang marinig namin ang salitang kumuha ng isang angel duon sa nakapaligid sa Mahal na Birhen. Karipasan ng takbo kaming mga angel pero nahuli ako ni Mrs. Lorenzo at sabi „be an obedient child, Babylou.“   Ang sabi ko na tandang tanda ko pa hangga ngayon, „wala po akong panty.“

          Siyempre di naman tutuo kaya ayun inakyat ako duon sa Galilea para maging Plan B kung sabihin natin ngayon. Habang iyak pa ng iyak tong angel na si Sylvia, ako nama’y tinalian na ni Mang Monico para ibaba . Ilan yata silang mga lalaki  nagtulongtulong sa pagbuhat sa matabang angel. Inay, ang taas at sumigaw din ako ng ayoko!

          Bumitin ako duon sa tali at para si Jane akong sumisigaw ng ayoko habang umiikot ako duon sa rebulto ng birhen. Nakita ko din si Father Latorre at sumigaw sa akin na kuhanin mo ang belo!

          Naisip ko din na walang mangyayari kaya dapat tapusin na ang drama. Kinuha ko ang belo ng Birhen at pagkatapos nuon, ako’y hinilang pataas sa Galilea. Kantahan sila ulit ng Alleluia, nakatawa na din yun ibang mga angel at natapos din ang salubong.

          Isang magandang alaala sa panahon ng kwaresma. Yun kay Hudas, ibang storya na lang.



Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Rosenmontag 2015









Deep in winter, the whole day on this year's Rosenmontag has been dry and sunny. Such an ideal weather to celebrate the highlight of the so-called Five High Carnival Days. Motto of this year's celebration is "Social jeck - kunterbunt vernetzt." Social networking of clowns, of people regardless of their status, natives, migrants and visitors celebrating this traditional festival of merrymaking.
Get a short impression of the huge Rosenmontag parade with this Rosenmontag video.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Eve Celebration in Germany

Sending of Christmas greetings through social networkings. Merry Christmas from the Little Warrior.

Traditional Christmas Eve dinner is taken at the normal dinner  time unlike in some countries like the Philippines when they have Noche Buena in the middle of the night inviting friends and other clan members. In Germany, it is shared normally by the so-called nuclear family, the parents and their children. Other family or clan members can come for a visit on the first or second day of Christmas so with invited friends. For this dinner, it starts with hot and delicious pumpkin soup.

To eat goose, turkey or beef? To settle the question, the hostess decides for something wild-Rehragout, venison gulasch. Soft meat, a bit spicy, and one is comforted with the thought that the meat is not full of antibiotics. Well...

To go with the Rehragout, Spätzle is served. Spätzle is a soft egg noodle or dumpling popular in Southern Germany.

Salad is never lacking. As photo shows, it is tomato and rucola combination.

Pears in red wine accompany the wild meat.

Red cabbage with apples as side dish.

For dessert, the dear hostess surprises us with her perfect mousse au chocolat.

The tempting combination of dark and white chocolate served with raspberry.

Christmas Eve means for many kids "Bescherung." This is the handing out of Christmas presents from their parents to the kids and how many gifts are handed out for each child. Kids start to play doctor ready to treat patients with the toy First Aid Kit.

The little girl needs coaching to complete her Christmas song.
 
She is so fascinated by the first-aid kit present and willingly poses for a photo. How charming! 

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Visits to Christmas Markets

Weihnachtsmarkt-Domplatz in Köln

Weihnachtsmarkt - Osnabrück





Weihnachtsmarkt-Münster





Attaching here a short video clip of street musicians playing near the Weihnachtsmarkt in Münster just beside Lambertikirche (Lamberti church).

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

November 25, Reclaim the Night 2014. Wir Fordern die Nacht Zurück!




As in every year, November 25, the International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women as declared by the United Nations is celebrated globally in various ways by different women's organizations and initiatives as the day to say Reclaim the Night. Women in different cities hold street parades to demand stop to violence against women: Dance and march, reclaim the night, because the night belongs to women, women be loud.
I found one piece of paper with interesting verses which I am retyping below. Author is not known.

"Hausarbeit verweigern, Männer putzt das Klo! Für den Feminismus sowieso!
Lasst es glitzern, lasst es krachen  - Macker ham heut nix zu lachen! HAHAHA
Gegen Sexismus in jeder Gestalt - keine Toleranz der Männergewalt!
However I dress, wherever I go, yes means yes, no means no!
Friedlich oder Militant - wichtig ist der Widerstand!
Bullen, Macker, Patriarchat - wir haben euch zum kotzen satt!
Tanzen, tanzen, tanzen - wir sind Emanzen!
Feuer und Flamme dem Patriarchat! Kampf dem Sexismus in Alltag und Staat!
Lesben, Inter, Trans und Frauen - können auf die Fresse hauen!
Mackertum, könnt ihr Euch schenken - gegen euer Rollendenken!
Zwingt die Macker in die Knie - Feminismus, Anarchie!
Kondome, Spirale - Linksradikale!
Mein Körper gehört mir! Mein Körper gehört mir! Mein Körper gehört mir!
Sexismus keine Chance geben - für ein selbstbestimmtes Leben!
We are here and we will fight! Abortion is a human right!"

(Author unknown)





Sunday, 23 November 2014

Call for Justice for Maguindanao (Ampatuan) Massacre of November 23, 2009



The Philippine authorities are running out of time to ensure that their response to the Maguindanao massacre does not become a mockery of justice, Amnesty International said on the fifth anniversary of what is often called the world’s largest-ever single attack on journalists.

On 23 November 2009, 58 people, including 32 journalists and other media workers, were killed when an election convoy came under attack by more than 100 armed men, allegedly including members of the police and the military. The convoy had been travelling in the southern province of Maguindanao, through the territory of the powerful Ampatuan clan.

“Justice delayed is justice denied. Five years after the Maguindanao massacre, the cases are still inching through the Philippine court system and not a single person has been held to account,” said Hazel Galang-Folli, Amnesty International’s Philippines Researcher.

Almost half the 197 suspects for whom arrest warrants have been issued since the massacre remain at large. Meanwhile, no prosecution has been concluded, nor has any perpetrator been convicted.

Trials in the civil and criminal cases are ongoing at a Quezon City Regional Trial Court. However, there have been several delays and setbacks and most of the court proceedings have been bail hearings. The families of the victims have also called on the National Police Commission to dismiss police officers allegedly involved in the assault, but it remains to be seen how these demands will be dealt with.

Witnesses to the massacre and their families have faced attacks and killings since the massacre, highlighting a lack of government protection. Just this week yet another prospective witness was killed in an ambush in Maguindanao province. At least eight witnesses and their family members have been killed in such attacks since November 2009. No one is known to have been held accountable for these killings either.

“Each killing of a witness creates a fresh injustice while reducing the chances of justice being served for the families of the victims of this horrific massacre. This is particularly true in a country like the Philippines where court cases have traditionally relied heavily on witness testimony,” said Hazel Galang-Folli.

“The Philippine authorities must get their act together and ensure that accountability for this horrific massacre is given high priority and enough resources.”

Dennis Sakal and Butch Saudagal, both of whom were expected to testify against the primary suspects in the massacre were gunned down by unidentified men in Maguindanao on 18 November 2014, killing the former. 

Alijol Ampatuan, who according to prosecutors was willing to identify perpetrators, was shot at close range in February 2012. Esmail Amil Enog, who testified in court that he had been a driver for gunmen implicated in the massacre, was found chain-sawed into pieces after disappearing in May 2012.

Region Asia And The Pacific

For further information, contact International Press Office »

http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/philippines-five-years-justice-maguindanao-massacre-can-t-wait-2014-11-23



For more information please read: www.amnesty.org maguindanao massacre