I have been reading a lot lately and I noticed that many posts, articles, essays and other good-reads had the dash missing where they should have been placed.

Between words- that is.

A dash is a punctuation mark that is similar to a hyphen or minus sign, but differs from both of these symbols primarily in length and function. The most common versions of the dash are the en dash (–) and the em dash (—), named for the length of a typeface‘s lower-case n and upper-case M respectively -Wikipedia.

There are four kinds of dashes used in the English language for writing.  What I particularly refer to here is the en dash. The short one that looks like a hyphen or a minus sign.  Beyond Way-Finding.  Best-Selling Status.  Over-the-counter medicines. Two-year course…

 I really think I crossed a boundary or two for doing this i.e. messing with other writers’ literary license.  But I’m just speaking my mind out here to defend the rights of the dash. It deserves to exist. To be used. To be properly used-where and when words need it.


Writing Badly # 70

Kudos to this awesome writer! Loved the story. Best of all,I can relate to this as I got a congenital defect on my left leg.

Write Badly, Daily

Painting of a TypewriterI was known in high school for my legs. I was not bright or athletic, but I had nice legs. Few of my former class mates can remember my name, but many of them can’t forget “the guy with the legs.” It’s been 18 years and so much has changed in my life, but not my legs. They’ve remained as they were.

So it didn’t surprise me very much when my girlfriend confronted me about it one night.

“If you love me,” she said. “If you really, really love me, you will grow hair on your legs.”

We were at an intersection waiting for the traffic light to turn green. Next to a tall building was a huge Svenson billboard.

“Babe?” I said.

“You heard me,” she said. She folded her arms across her chest and continued gazing outside the window.

“I love your legs just the way they are.”

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The Special Olympics showcased what special people can achieve. This blog showcases more of what they, or rather we– are and more.

special persons are people, too!

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…

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FINANCIAL STABILITY: A MUST FOR ALL SENIOR CITIZENS (by Dr. Gary S. Sy in Gabay sa Kalusugan’s Health Page))

11853848_10205261704207572_1271938853_n    pggy bnk

Truth Hurts. Ugly Truth but TRUE. I am just sharing this email message I received from a dear friend. If you are 40 years old and above you really have to read and consider these realities of life. How to stay ‘safe’ at old age: (Remember only you can save yourself safely at old age). 1. Do not retire. If you’re over-aged, retire and get all the benefits but find another income-generating job or open a business that will keep you active physically and mentally. Travel and bond with true friends, play a sport, learn a new hobby and volunteer in your community or parish. Don’t loaf around. Your spouse will hate you because you’ve become a sloppy, listless bum with nothing good to say about the household and things that you never bothered about before. Solve crossword puzzles, play Scrabble, write your memoirs, and above all, read …this will keep you alert and keep Alzheimer’s at bay. 2. Live in your own place to enjoy independence, privacy and a solo life. If you move in with your children, your rank or degree of importance is reduced to that of a bed spacer who has no place of honor or, worse, like crumbling furniture merely displayed with no added value. Maybe, you have to ‘kowtow’ to conform to their own rules that are not kind, considerate or mindful of you? If you witness your children engaged in a war of will and wits with your grandchildren, whom will you side with? Will they even appreciate your arbitration? Remind your children that silence is not a sign of weakness; you are merely processing data that is taking longer to complete. 3. Hold on to your nest egg, bank deposits and assets. If you want to help your children, do give, but not to the extent that you wipe out your life’s earnings, singing heroically not a shirt on my back nor a penny to my name. Staying solvent and in the black is a good hedge against all kinds of tempests. You will sleep better, you will not be afraid to express your opinion and you will be confident about yourself. 4. Don’t believe your children’s promise to care for you when you grow old priorities change. Many children are not guilt- ridden or filled with a sense of moral obligation when the wife and offspring take top billing in their lives. There are still children who would consider it a privilege to show compassion, genuine love and deep concern for their parents but be warned that not all children think alike. 5. Expand your circle of friends to include young ones who will definitely outlive your old BFFs. Keep up with new inventions, trends, music and lifestyle including all the scams and schemes you should guard against. Remember that when you mix with the young, you also open a fresh avenue to channel your thoughts, experiences and values through so that the lessons you learned are not lost, forgotten or buried with you. 6. Be well groomed and smelling fresh of spring water all the time. There’s nothing more depressing than seeing people exhale when you walk by because you reek of baul (camphor chest) or lupa (dirt). Old age or bust, don’t look and smell like a corpse when you’re not one yet. 7. Do not meddle in the life of your children. If they ask for your counsel, give it, but be ready to accept that they may not take it. Their situations in life cannot be compared to the situations that you experienced in your life. The playing field has changed and they need to develop their own set of survival skills. If you raised them to be street smart, they can handle themselves in tough situations and be able to read people. Champion and encourage their dreams and desires but on their own terms. 8. Do not use old age as your shield and justification for turning grumpy. There’s nothing more annoying than an arrogant, old fool. Welcome each day as another chance to be kind and forgiving, to yourself and to others. 9. Listen to what others may say. Do not throw your weight around just because you are a septuagenarian or a nonagenarian. You are not a depository of knowledge. Even if the roles have been reversed, make growing old a fun-filled, pleasant experience for you and your brood. 10. Pray always and focus on your eternal life. You will definitely leave everything behind, a final journey detached from burden and care. Be more accepting that, sooner, not later, you will croak. Prepare your swan song with a humble and contrite heart. If you believe in a merciful and loving God, there is no need to strut like a star. Nobody is. Money – Your last power at old age ! If you are broke at old age, nobody, not even your children will come close to you. You are a parasite. Yes, Money buys you power when you needed it most at old age.


I wrote this eons ago. Thanks for checking it out!

special persons are people, too!

I saw her on teevee today.
I almost thought, “how cruel God must be”.
I almost cried; seeing her was just like your heart was crushed.
Such fragile ‘thing’… It must be very hard for her mum…

Kyla was auditioning for a teevee show.

The show is the local equivalent of America’s Got Talent television program. She was auditioning! Before her turn to show-off, nobody would ever believe she was there for the screening. SCREENING!

Did you say, screening? Screening as in like auditioning? As in: a trial performance to determine suitability for a contest? A try-out? An elimination exercise?

Yes. And for a prestigious national television show, at that.

Because Kyla looked like she’s just a baby, you can never tell otherwise. Her mother carries her around. She doesn’t have the capacity or functionality to walk. Her legs couldn’t support her. All her extremities seemed very fragile, although her…

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ZACHARY ALBERT JAYME: congratulations!


My dear son, Zaqui:

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

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!




     Tonight is our second night in this new rental house. As I unpacked and went through the motions of getting things in order, I couldn’t help but think of the novelties this last move will present. New house, new neighbors, new experiences.  Am just so glad to get away from the previous house for good.


     We’ve been in this neighborhood before ’cause we used to rent a house about two blocks away. In fact, we’ve been gone for eight months. We loved this area then, that’s why my husband deliberately searched for a house here. It’s cool and windy, nearer to my mom’s, and there’s a wet market nearby. What’s more, my only daughter Ashlei had a lot of friends here and she is very happy we get to live here again albeit temporarily. 


     We hated the last house we were in;  we couldn’t take the heat, there was almost no vegetation in the premise, and it flooded when it rained.  Ash was always bored there;  she had not a single friend and it was quite hard on her living there.


     I can’t really say how long we will be just another tenant here but for now, I am just so grateful for the change. Best of all, I love the vegetables that are up for grabs surrounding the house that I made a simple green, leafy veggies stew and ate my heart out thinking, ‘tastes like it’s gonna be a happy residency for us’, with a secret chuckle this morning.


     The Kadayawan Festival in Davao City proved to be, once again, a very exciting event.  Cultural integration has been prevalent in Mindanao since time immemorial, and the various tribes’ cultural evolution into one unique set of people, the Davaoenos, have flourished very richly.  Cultural dance competitions highlighted the event as the city celebrated its 100th charter day.   Various programs and activities took place all over the city, beckoning thousands of tourists that enjoyed in the revelries.


     With the influx of visitors both foreign and domestic, it was but inevitable that hotels were fully booked even a month in advance.  My husband and I, however, have booked a room for us two months ahead, at Apo View Hotel. Located right at the heart of the city, the hotel is actually the very first in the city since the Pamintuan family built it in the 60’s.  More than half a decade later, it still stands strong, that it has become a landmark of the city in its own right.


     The city offered so much fun but the hospitality and great accommodations extended to us by the staff of the hotel and its owner himself, Mr. Mike Pamintuan proved to be very heart-warming.  We felt like celebrities, what with all the attention and the service de luxe by the crew and the royal treatment by the owner himself.

     The limousine that fetched us at the airport was quite a big surprise for us new arrivals.  We didn’t expect to be fetched as it was stipulated in the travel itinerary: our mode of transport from the airport to the hotel and within the city for the festivities was to be our problem.  We even argued with the driver when we saw our names on the cardboard at the exit terminal of the airport.  We gave in when the driver showed us the hotel memo, proving it was really us that the luxury car was fetching.


     It was about lunch time when we got to the hotel.  Our protestations fell on deaf ears when we refused to eat at the hotel, thinking that a single meal at the hotel was way beyond our budget.  It was ‘compliments’ from Mr. Pamintuan, the concierge explained.  It was only then that we calmed down and obeyed the valets. We were ushered in to the dining saloon for the lunch buffet.  The meal was excellent we felt like we were in cloud nine for having had the chance to partake of such special delights.


partial novel body

As a child, I have always been charming and precocious. I was really cute; being too small for my age and pretty at that, getting people’s attention and sympathy was easy. Everybody loved me; and most of the time, I was given special privileges and I was well-thought of wherever I went. Special considerations and extra showers of affection boosted my morale and uplifted my self-esteem. I always won at pleasing those around me; and in return, I had more than my fair share of the love and care that each growing child needs. To empower, to inspire, to soothe the spirit, and to strengthen self-confidence and self-worth.
People used to say to me, “you’re so cute!” and “you’re so bright!” as I was growing up. I’ve gotten so used to hearing these compliments that sometimes I’d even murmur the words before they can even say it. I had fun each time and I’d secretly laugh to myself. The compliments never failed to flatter me, though.
I had a fascination for information and my curiosity was boundless. I have always been tirelessly finding things out, studying, learning, expanding my horizons and spreading my wings. I loved to explore and plow the field, so to speak. I was a voracious reader, never letting good reading materials pass me up. My passion for learning was burning incessantly. Best of all, my retentive memory has been responsible for my feats. Knowing things and discerning them for ultimate comprehension came easy to me. I was ‘brilliant’, they say.
I had the knack for literature and language was my forte.
“We want you to write the editorial for the year’s first quarter issue of “The Gazette”. I would; and before I know it, I was already editor for that school organ.
What I lacked in height I more than made up for my keen sense of understanding and very daring personality. I was good with people and my public relations skills were excellent.
“Go, go, go Cecilia!”, my friends and classmates would cheer and chant at debates at school or at quiz bees.
As a lawyer, I never lacked the right tools for defense and offense. Whichever party I represented, it’s never a problem going inside, under, above, or beside the workings of the law for either loop holes or cork screws to arm me at the battlefield. I never lost a case ever.
My height didn’t bother me at all. I didn’t have any feelings of insecurity nor did I have ‘inferiority complex’. I was too smart to be infected by that. In spite of the fact that I stood at only a little over four feet, ironically, I was endowed with a very powerful voice. One that never failed to catch attention or demand respect. Almost masculine, clear, strong and concise, my voice had been an asset that impressed the masses, convinced the judges, amused big time politicians, pacified insurgents, assured clients, and consoled hundreds of oppressed individuals who believed in somebody who will stand by them through thick and thin. Likewise, anyone who hears me without seeing the real me tends to have the surprise of a lifetime and it’s always amusing. Thus, I had a powerful personality and I cultivated it well using it to my greatest advantage.
As a student, I was very competitive. I was always among the top students.
“You made it again this year, Cecilia, good job!”, says a teacher.
I tried to be the best in everything I did. It would torment me whenever some classmate or colleague had the edge over me. I felt I didn’t give my best. I would strive even harder to accomplish more and obtain higher grades. It meant so much when I earn respect and appreciation from my fellow classmates, friends, teachers and professors. My sense of accomplishment never waned; as a professional, I still maintained the level of excellence in everything I endeavored to do. I was consistent in terms of proficiency and mastery.
In high school, I could have bested anyone in the classroom if I chose to. In terms of academic and extra-curricular activities, I was never behind because it broke me whenever I failed at something. Losing or being only second best wasn’t acceptable. No one set this criteria for me to follow; that has been my own rule. I set a high standard for myself and did everything to live by it. Being physically challenged myself, I made it a point to be an inspiration for people with physical problems. I wanted to be a living example; no matter what the circumstances are, it’s not impossible to excel scholastically and to succeed in anything you put your mind to. I had all the right gifts; and I vowed to use them to serve humanity.
I was always recognized and given merit for my achievements and successes. But I never let these get into my head. No matter how high I soared, my heart was always below, where it surely belonged- next to my family-for the masses, for civic duty, for justice and truth.
Being an achiever, however, has its setbacks. There are those who are green with envy that they’d try tactics to destroy you, discourage you or drive you away.
“Hey Cecilia, did you know that Anna Marie Lucuesta says you’re a cheat?”, a classmate would ask.
And I would just laugh my solid, throaty laugh saying, “Let her be. She’s just jealous for being such a loser. She failed at American Literature, you know”. And then we laughed together.
But I didn’t mind; it gave me all the more motivation to be even better. As long as I played the game right, I have nothing to fear. I always believed to fight for what is right and to stand for the causes that matter. My gift of gab always made me get through tight spots, holes, nooks and crannies; while my bravado has been misconstrued for conceit most of the time, though. But I didn’t dwell on that; what mattered most was that I stood by my principles and philosophies, and my intentions were never malicious.
My leftist mentality and passion for things social, civic and political were starting to manifest themselves while at secondary school. As early as the fourth year in high school, I became an activist; a naysayer, protestor and oppositionist when I thought something wasn’t right. I also boldly challenged the authorities, questioned rules, guidelines, and ordinances. When something smelled fishy, I was at the forefront demanding transparency. I always read the daily newspapers and I was very updated with current events and I was seething with fury to read about opression, discrimination, deprivations and other forms of injustices, and even impunity; I was ‘inflamed’ to do something to contribute.
“How come I don’t see Miss Cecilia Marquez today”, asked my senior year teacher”. And true enough, my classmates would answer back, “where else, at the plaza or at the city hall, of course”. Pickets and rallies were common then. I used to join them and voiced my apprehensions, opinions, suggestions and protestations. I actively participated that I missed classes at school. I was very passionate to the extent that I traded my honor slots then.
I was good at deductive and inductive reasoning and making logical explanations for, and discussing about events, issues and relevant subjects, modesty aside, was a piece of cake for me somehow. could make generalizations, summaries, conclusions and synopses ahead of everyone else when required of us. And it’s through this that I’m able to infer when there’s some discrepancy or if ever something was out of line.
I was never lazy to learn of new things and it was plain innate in me to be always on my feet doing something exciting and worthy. Instead of lazing around and engaging in things irrelevant and trivial, intellectually challenging undertakings perked me up and motivated me in ways that I become productive. I was always enthusiastic for seminars and fora. I can present ideas and take the floor real well. I got involved and participated and contributed in programs and alliances that were for good causes. I was the proponent for a myriad of groups, associations and organizations. I was also a literary editor, and I was always sought after for what I have to say about a certain issue or concern. My views were valued as relevant and insightful or inspiring or motivating.
It was in college when I started smoking. It’s a bad habit I never really outgrew. In fact, my daughter Nikki reprimands me all the time. My children are concerned because the doctor has advised for me to quit it or else my health will be jeopardized.
“You ought to stop, mom. Or else it’s gonna be the death of you”. “Okay, okay, sure”, I would retort back.
I just couldn’t do it somehow. I can be stubborn and the children complained about it. I go to great lengths to cover my tracks at home regarding my smoking. To keep the peace and stop them from worrying about me and my well-being, I never let them see me smoke the past few years anymore as long as I can help it.
My playing mah jong, on the other hand, doesn’t really get on their nerves. They even encourage me to play sometimes.
“Hey mum! Aunt Arlene wants you to go there to play mah jong! She’s on the phone! Mum! Go and have fun, okay!” and I would shout back from downstairs: “I will later. Gotta finish up some printing. Thanks, Clio…” I feel good when the kids sound that way. It made me feel really special.
When they push me to go out have some fun or go shopping or go to the beauty saloon, the fhaggling takes time but they always win. They just love it when I give myself time. This may be due to the fact that I don’t really have any forms of diversion to get my mind off the volumes of case files at the office and at home, and the never-ending invites for speakerships, guestings, and other social appearances. I’m always requested when it is required for an authority figure’s presence at educational institutions or organizational gatherings. My kids know damn well how much I work hard for them. Plus, they think I truly deserve to enjoy some other things beside the courtroom battles that I love. I am very grateful for having such wonderful children and grandchildren. I am truly blessed in a way.