ZACHARY ALBERT JAYME: congratulations!


ZACHARY ALBERT JAYME

My dear son, Zaqui:

Nak, congratulations! Woohoo! Hugs! Kisses! You finally did it! We’re proud of
you!

The day after tomorrow will mark a new phase for you. What you will be doing will ultimately be very crucial to whatever carreer you will be pursuing. I know in my heart that you will be great at it, and that you’re gonna stand by it ’til the finish line. Just choose right anak and good luck.

Just wanna tell you nak that you have been a great son to us. We are very blessed
and privileged for having been entrusted a son such as you. You are truly a gift, that’s
why we couldn’t ask for a better son. So thank you for being the thoughtful, smart, loving, and cool son that you are. We love you, gid!

love,
mama

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PROLOGUE


Here is a fraction of the prologue from my novel-writing entry.  I badly need critiques;  please share what you think of it. Thanks!

It was a November Monday. My death shocked the whole nation and piqued the whole world’s interest. 57 people died that day in one clean swoop. I was among the casualties.

The Lagunao Massacre was what it was, a massacre. If there’s a war going, the number of deaths would not have been unusual. Gruesome, macabre, and extremely raw, it was the most evil as evil can be; it was utter butchery. For the perpetrators, life as we know it was something to toy with. Human value has no meaning for them. What they did to us that fateful day was the most despicable act of violence of the decade. It was considered the most vicious, heinous crime against humanity in recent history.

When newspapers, tabloids, and radio, television and cyber space media caught on and raved about it, it was pandemic, viral. It engulfed the masses, filling every heart and mind with disbelief and outrage. The country condemned it. Religions all over the world was brought down to their knees by it. After the Holocaust, in this day and age? It was simply something unbelievable. The degree of the deluge of public outcry was beyond quantification.

MASSKARA FEVER


Last night was the first time I got to see the Bacolod Public Plaza in its ‘splendour’ for the Masskara Festival (since it stopped raining). The plaza is the most accessible among all the venues where the Masskara fever can be ingested. It’s also where the Masskara dance competition will be high-lighted.

Vendors were everywhere selling novelties, souvenir items, miniature masks, and things from ready-to-wear apparels, to food, food, food!

You can smell the wisp of stewed or grilled corn, the mouth-watering skewers of barbecue (chicken feet, gizzard, and other entrails, anyone?), and the peanuts, pickled pork skin (yes, we got that here- only in the Philippines!), chicharon, and balut and penoy were abound.

The scenario was that of a typical fiesta. Although makeshift urinals were set up, the whole plaza reeked of piss (holy guacamole!) from beer-drinking. Old and young people alike were enjoying the food and the sights and sounds, or simply hanging about drinking with friends, relatives, or classmates and office mates.  Music reigned and some people were dancing.  There was even a crazed woman who danced like she was a burlesque dancer. My nine-year old daughter and I heard someone say she used to be a japayuki who got herself messed up with drugs. Modesty aside, she wore some alluring, flimsy, come-on outfit. She was quite a sight; and every passer-by looked amused-stupefied, even.

Groups of teenagers were abuzz.

Quasi check points at points of entry were manned by men and women in uniform, on guard and visible for ill-meaning persons; and they also checked people for guns and other contraband.  It was okay; to keep the peace-and to somehow let people know they can have a good time without worrying about their security. It has been reported that each year, there’s always a casualty.  Some price to pay for the ultimate merriment, huh?

Nevertheless, it seemed everybody was having a good time.  The festive air can be felt; and just a walking distance away,  the carnival rides, games and other attractions brought satisfaction and smiles to kids and families. The bargain stalls proved to be a good alternative for shoppers. And the loud frenzy of people and music seemed to mark the celebration of a very fun-filled Masskara Festival.

Mambukal



      Located just outside the city limits of Bacolod City in the next town of Murcia, Negros Occidental, this eco-tourism hub has been sought after by foreign and local tourists and excursionists alike.
      It is a pristine environment where man and nature merge.  An ideal getaway spot for those weary of the hustle and bustle of the city.  Perfect as a place for R&R (Rest and Relaxation), the resort boasts of its waterfalls and hiking trails aside from the many amenities and features especially maintained to give the guests a wonderful time.
      Whether with kiths and kins alike, the Mambukal phenomenon is an invigorating opportunity for bonding and other social activity. Geared towards wellness, most activities in the resort are fun, and there’s just an endless list of things to do.
      One of the many attractions of the resort is the dipping pool. It’s a therapeutic bathing experience of a lifetime.  A dip takes your cares and worries away;  almost magical, as guests claim.  It is fenced off to limit distractions;  the natural steam refreshes the soul and cleans the mind and body.
      The butterfly farm, on the other hand is a stellar experience.  Butterflies are reputed to be angels’ feathers, and so it seems. To see such varied and colorful creatures is amazingly heart-warming. It’s almost like you’re in a fantasy world where everything good abounds.  Being among them brings serenity to the soul and enlightenment to the mind. Don’t miss these wondrous winged creatures in case you get to see Mambukal; they’re truly heaven-sent. After all, what would have the gods at Olympus fed on off if they weren’t responsible for the ambrosia?
      The Mambukal Mudpack Festival, held annually, is an exciting event to look forward to.  Various groups whose advocacy is towards ecological preservation and environmental awareness, get together for a pre-planned weekend fun highlighted by the drum-beating competition.
Mambukal Resort:  your home, your safe haven in the City of Smiles.


			

ABOUT ‘SPECIAL PERSONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO!’ BLOG


Special Persons are People, Too is a literary hub where everyone is welcome to interact with persons with congenital physical deformities or defects, give advice, offer opportunities, or just simply to give support and show they care.

Being provided a fantastic site you can call your own is simply irresistible.  Best of all, you can do whatever you want with it (for as long as you don’t go over the boundaries). It’s like winning the lottery;  a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you feel you have to really take care of and make the best of.

Thanks to the kindness of all the staff at wordpress.com and the community and other outfits that support them. Words can never suffice to show our gratefulness for these selfless people. Without them, Special Persons are People, Too could not have come into existence.

People like me-bloggers, authors/writers, companies, associations, and other organizations geared towards sharing and community interaction to foster goodwill among those who believe they can make a difference, now have a great avenue where they can impart insights and other important stuff to the world.  It’s simply awesome!

Here, we hope to discuss about, and share experiences of, people who have physical deformities- their adversities, exploits, and most of all, their TRIUMPHS over their misfortunes.

Also, we will be posting about Bacolod City as a gateway to extend a glimpse about where we hail from, and we hope to feature articles about individual persons, entire organizations, government agencies, and other professionals somehow akin to our city and our advocacy.

We’re a newbie in this endeavor, and whatever help we can get, we would appreciate it very much.  Kindly feel free to contact us for any suggestions, literary contributions, advice and other relevant things we need (like topics, articles, or links that can further help us improve).

Thank you.

MASSKARA FESTIVAL


The Philippines is a country that has a very diverse culture and very rich history. Festivals (or fiestas) are held all over the country. Every ethnic and regional group has its own unique way of celebrating its feast every year.
For Bacolod City, its Masskara Festival was borne when the entire province suffered its worst during the decline of the sugar industry. It seemed then that a dark cloud was hanging above the entire province, and as the capital, Bacolod City was obliged to do something to change the mood, so to speak. The Ilonggos, as optimistic people, decided on a revelry for all to uplift their sagging spirits.
Thus, Masskara came to be. “Mass” means the masses or the people; “kara” means mask. To hide the anguish was the objective behind the happy smile of every mask. It was a huge success, and that’s how it all began.
Essentially, each festival gets grander and grander every year that it became a sensation for the country and to countless tourists. As early as June, all major hotels are fully booked; large establishments prepare for it months ahead.
The first day of October signals the onset of the festival. The entire city plaza transforms into a large beer garden every night. All over the city, heavy drinking is an ordinary sight. There are gigs everywhere; a band here and there, social events at every mall, contests and pageants in the barangays, art exhibits, etc. The major events are usually around the 17th and culminates on the 19th.
The street dancing competitions (in which there are categories) and the electric lights dancing showcase, however, are to watch out for.