Showing posts from July, 2007

Every body counts.

War As A Measure Of Worth
Maria Makiling must have wept as she watched the carnage belowDr Fernando Bernardo has just written the first scholarly history of my alma mater: University of the Philippines Los Baños: A Century Of Challenges And Achievements, published by the UPLB Alumni Association Inc – it’s about to go to press; I’m in my fifth reading-to-edit-the-text – and it was his Three Tales Of War (my coinage) that struck me first: the Filipino-American War, World War I, and World War II. It’s from Dr B’s book that I can give you some details. You will be surprised to learn that WWI came to Los Baños in a mighty way. As we go the way of warriors, we shall learn to measure war in a way that every body counts, beloved.First, World War I – Dr B writes that ‘the Filipino-American War (1899-1902) was more violent and lasted longer than the Filipino revolution against Spain (1896-1898), with more loss of human life and destruction of agriculture.’ Rough estimate of Filipino lives lost: …

Your mind opens windows.

When What You Remember Is Sweet‘The pause that refreshes’ (That's not me sitting but that's my bike, at the new
CEAT building, UPLB, with Mt Makiling in the distance, 2007 February 14)Yes, I have registered at which is Web-managed by Ms Bernardita ‘Bernie’ Quimpo (writer, editor, publisher) who is a UP Diehard (the husband is Norman, Ateneo math-head, Director of Graduate Services). And yes, thereby, my head has opened windows on the past, UP and not UP. When fate closes a door, your mind opens windows if you’re paying attention. Beloved, God opens more windows if you believe.Believe me, if Bernie is a UP Diehard, I remember I'm a UP You Only Live Twice. If you register at, I hope the memories you remember or will soon be reminded to remember are sweet, or sweeter. Of course, the memories depend not on the memories but the one remembering.At 67, married, with a dozen children from one wife, what memories do I have, cherish? All kin…

The Sword, The Word, The Food.

What’s The Shortest Distance
To A Man’s Heart, Love?
Fresh lumpia at AgriPark, UPLB College of Agriculture, served at Zonta International meeting, 2007 April 14Beloved, what’s the shortest distance to a man’s heart? To the brave man, it’s the sword. To the coward, it’s the word. To the hungry, it’s the food. Be creative! To me, it was the food – and then it was love at first sight.I always loved girls, I mean since high school when I began to have crushes – and I had many – I always loved to be with any number of girls. No, I didn’t court them or anything like that, I just loved to be with them. High school time, in the 50s, at home, I preferred the company of my mother than my father, who was aloof. My mother was always solicitous of me, his son who had apnea – this is the medical opinion of my wife, not a doctor – and so I learned from her (my mother, not my wife) how to sew and many other such things a mother could do with her own hands. She was good at all of them, and I loved to w…

You can lead a horse to the water.

But Not Anywhere Near Ours, Please!The software of the 1990s were an embarrassment. Also to me. The user had always been right, but in those times the software wasn’t always right for the user. To illustrate, Dr O likes to tell this anecdote, and I know it’s true because I happen to be the villain in the story. It happened more than 10 years ago. The opening line is very simple:Dinadael ni Frank ti dua wenno tallo nga computer idiay PhilRice idi.Before I translate, let me give you some background:For more than a year starting in 1993, if I remember right, Dr O hired me as a Consultant reporting to him directly as the Executive Director of PhilRice at the headquarters in Maligaya, Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. Already, Dr O had made PhilRice what it was - a multi-award-winning, internationally respected institution. Already the JICA-funded buildings and facilities had been built and established, all world-class. I was delighted being one of those who had the privilege of enjoying the amenities t…

1967 October 10.

I, The Clown Who Cried WolfBy Frank A Hilario1967 October 10, Loyalty Day at the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture in Los Baños, Laguna, south of Manila. The phenomenal Ilocano Ferdinand Edralin Marcos was in his third year as a would-be long-running President of his country while I was already past my long-running fourth year as student of UPCA. A most-decorated War Hero was in Malacañang and I was one of the barbarians at the gate of this Cow College, the old carabaos staring at my back. I wasn’t alone but I was alone; I had always been alone in the midst of plenty of people. Let a hundred flowers bloom, a thousand thoughts contend, and I had other ideas. I had always been a rebel – and I never ran out of causes, beloved. I had always been creative.
In those days I was one of the campus figures, scholars and writers who dared our readers to think differently, that is to say, intelligently. Our readers were on one hand the students who by default had to pay for thei…

The Lesson of the i

Also published by American Chronicle in a slightly different form
The Alfie Workshoppers, 2007 June 25-29 (names at end of story)Being On Filipinos Pioneering In The Art Of Technical WritingBy Frank A HilarioThe Philippines has just conducted the world’s first workshop with a theme song,Alfie, in Technical Writing For A Refereed Journal. And we did it, 13 from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research & Development (PCARRD), and I. And it’s all about love.Incongruous, you might say. An i word; it is precisely from the incongruous where you learn something new, or gain a different insight. Those who are afraid of the incongruous may learn only what they are told.I designed The Write Approach (in i, GLORiA, for the workshop. First was a ‘feedforward’ sheet, which included the lyrics of Alfie and the question, ‘What is love?’ After collecting the papers, I sang the first line of Alfie and explained why it is our theme song. I sa…