Showing posts from May, 2008

From Grief to Grace.

To the Chapmans, to make much of time

Thinking of tears, I title Wrapped this photo of the Steven Curtis Chapman family made available at the artist’s own website, I have Photoshopped Will Franklin, Maria Sue, Steven, Shaohannah, Mary Beth, Stevey Joy, Caleb, Emily: I do not see them wrapped only in themselves; I see them wrapped in Time because of Tragedy. Maria died in a car accident involving Will.
Thinking of laughter, I had published my essay that I titled in good faith ‘Good Grief! Steven Curtis Chapman, please don’t be Sue-sad’ (, and ‘Kingsview’ had written in a comment:Interesting! (and well written). This concept of the 5 Stages of Good Grief! is helpful in other areas of (life) too. I will share it with another friend who recently lost a very close friend, and often has depressive relapses. Thanks for sharing!Yes, ‘Kingsview,’ I published the essay to share about what I had stumbled upon, serendipity-wise. I didn’t know I wa…

Good grief!

Steven Curtis Chapman, please don’t be Sue-sad

The Steven Curtis Chapman family before May 21, 2008:
Will Franklin, Maria Sue, Steven, Shaohannah, Mary Beth, Stevey Joy, Caleb, Emily.

Maria was the Chapmans’ vibrant Sue of a Thousand Days, innocent. After which she broke all their hearts. She died.She's the one held by her Daddy; that was before May 21 in Franklin, TN. Today, May 24, Saturday Manila time, I was browsing the news all over the Internet from 0300 to 0740 hours wanting to know all the details surrounding the death of Maria Sue Chapman, 5 years old. I was intently reading more than 100 news items all in all, and then suddenly I started laughing.Good grief! How can I laugh at a time like this, when my Gospel music hero of a singer-composer has just lost his daughter Sue in a terrible accident of his son Will Franklin’s own making? A double tragedy. After all, this is Steven Curtis Chapman, Gospel music genius, who has won 5 Grammy Awards and 54 Dove Awards, who has sold ov…

The Golden Fund.

Let Science, the Rich & the Poor wizen upSee those hills of rice growing? Golden Rice is here – based in the Philippines, this year IRRI is field-testing in this country (Reuters Hong Kong), this genetically modified rice loaded with beta-carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A, which is good for the skin and the eyes, not to mention the immune system (Food Standards Agency, UK). Soon, there’s gold in dem dar hills! Brought to you by? Surprise: Microsoft.Actually, IRRI Director General Robert Zeigler had announced early this year that Golden Rice will be made available to farmers in 2011 yet, along with the news that IRRI had received a grant of US$20 million from Bill Gates of Microsoft. Even considering the history of Microsoft and the company’s many promised releases of Windows sometimes delayed by years, nevertheless, I don’t think Golden Rice is vaporware.Wikipedia has seen Golden Rice, and that’s good enough for me. In fact, this rice was first announced to the world in 2000 in…

The End of Science.

Unless the Change Agent changes
With Climate Change, Science must change. Otherwise, we are looking at the End of Climate Change – and the End of Science.If economics is a dismal Science, Science is a disillusionment. In the Philippines, the Philippine Rice Research Institute has been here for 21 years; the International Rice Research Institute has been here for 50 years; even longer, the University of the Philippines Los Baños has been here for 100 years. In those times, the Science of rice succeeded in mathematically increasing the yields of rice all over Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas, but the world has failed in economically increasing the number of families and villages who increasingly profit from such Science. The Science Solution of some is to reduce the number of people, especially the poor. The rich must increase as the poor must decrease?To simplify, when I say ‘Science’ here, I refer both to software and hardware, knowledge and device, theory and practice, what ar…

The Giving Cup.

A few words before the flowers
Tony Oposa Sr, Surgeon Extraordinaire from the Philippines, world-class when very few Filipinos were, is very fond of saying, ‘Giving is the secret of abundance.’ Last May 16, Dr Tony’s brods of the Mu Sigma Phi gave him TheTony Oposa Cup in his honor, more formally called ‘The Dr Tony Oposa Testimonial Golf Tournament,’ held at the Camp Aguinaldo Golf Course in Quezon City. The Mu Sigma Phi is a fraternity of medical students of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, founded ‘one fine October afternoon’ in 1933, so the website says ( Nobody seems to be able to remember the exact date. Reminds me of Alzheimer’s – the frat is 75 years old. Unlike the honoree – the man in red shirt in my photograph suddenly recognizing, pointing to and identifying the man behind the camera (me) – he turned 84 years old last April 1 (I greeted him, of course, ‘Happy Birthday, April Fool!’). His memory is clearer than those Mu Sigma Phi fellows…

Red Badge of Courage.

The undiscovered genius of Stephen CraneI don’t remember having been completely charmed by a book of any size for the last 15 years or more. Until today, May 11, 2008. Just the other day from my sister-in-law Rebecca Hannah in Arizona I got by shipmail a pocketbook copy of Stephen Crane’s Barnes & Noble Classics selection The Red Badge Of Courage And Selected Short Fiction (2003, New York, 214 pages). Thank God for sisters-in-law who bother.It’s a slow-moving train of attraction. First, I read the erudite Introduction by Richard Fusco; I make it only halfway. Then I turn to the brief timeline on the author, the endnotes and, as is my wont, to the back of the book for the blurb. They all make very serious reading. The book goes back to the table.In a little while, I go back. The Introduction, 39 pages long, is a somber narration on the life of Crane and a solemn analysis of the impressionism of the whole story. I admire the works of impressionist painters, if it comes to that, no m…