October 28, 2005

Brown Neck


Ava's first 4th of July in Boston 2004.

October 21, 2005

Wet and Hungry

She is wet and hungry selling her sampaguita on a rainy day in Metro Manila.

Tapped the car window and she will go away. A gesture that you and me are not interested to buy her National flower of love and pain.

Even though we have a peso in our pocket but we still deny the existence of a hungry child that is right in front of our face.

Some say she is just a pretender and being use by someone to sell her flowers but others still buy the entire bouquet to feed the poor. Filipinos are some times selfish and caring but the entire nation is selling sampaguitas.
Photo by Jake Verzosa from http://erwinzky.blogspot.com/

October 13, 2005

My Cabanatuan Experience in the early 80s

My family relocated to Umingan, Pangasinan from Cebu. It was a very long trip and stressful. I couldn't imagined I was going to live in a remote part of Pangasinan. A town that was near the "Bundoks" and the water system was coming from the ground. I had to pumped water in order for me to drink but the water was fresh and free of minerals or additives, compared to other water supplies found in other major cities in the Philippines.

I stayed there for the summer and asked my mom to enroll me in high school at the College of the Immaculate Conception in Cabanatuan where my cousin Monsignior Camillo de Gregorio was at the time the President of the school.
My mother was reluctant to be separated with me again. We were always separated because her job required traveling for a recording company in Manila and she traveled all over the Philippines. Moving to Pangasinan was the time to know her and my step-father but my education was more important to my family.

In 1983, I started my class in Cabanatuan. I was being teased by my classmates because I had a Cebuano accent and my Tagalog was not perfect.

Nueva Ecija is a Tagalog province and with a tremendous violent past. Political rivals assassinated each other just to become a mayor or a governor. Their dreams to become famous but never to served the people of Nueva Ecija who voted for them.
Everyone knew me in school probably because of my last name Stamatelaky or my connection that I have with the school President.

I have learned not only in school but in the streets of Cabanatuan. I have learned to make friends with the poor. I always have a connection with the poor and a bad relationship with the rich. I always avoided becoming a friend of the wealthy Filipinos. Because they always make the poor poorer and neglect them, to make their lives richer from the expense of the peasant but not all Filipino rich are like that some have heart of a cotton and some have heart of a coconut.
There are a lot of memories in "Caba". I met my first love Abi, the ten years relationship with her was extraordinary. she was not only my girlfriend but she was different from all of the women that I had relationship.
I discovered the name Benigno Aquino Jr. in N.E When he was murdered at the Manila International Airport. He changed my mind in how I think that I am Filipino and become awakened that I was living in a country that was becoming poorer in every minute of my life. The Filipinos was about to embarked in a journey to freedom because one man changed in how Filipinos think.
I graduated in 1986 without honors but was free from the Tyrant.

October 10, 2005

Protest Anti-Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

A Filipino Protestor
Picture by Reuters N.Z.

The Philippine Politics 2005

The year is 2005. I subscribed to a Filipino channel called Mabuhay channel. It is been awhile I haven't seen any Filipino movies and especially Filipino news in Tagalog from Manila.
The sad part of this traditional political forecast is that the Philippines is still complaining about the Government. I have been away for 12 years and the politics is still going on undecided, undetermined and unpredictable.
When can my fellow Filipinos learn that the more they marched on the streets of Manila the more they are going to destroy the reputation of the Philippine economy and it's government.
I predict if the Philippines voted for a new regime the marching will always be there to destroy our Nation. I left my country to have a greener pasture but that pasture caught a drought and it's already dry.
A man's past can never be forgotten but if that man intended to forget the past it is likely to repeat itself. A lot of Filipinos committed their lives to save us from the dictator and the tyranny was abolished in EDSA.
We have learned from our past but some are still using the Power of the People to take control of the hearts and minds just to change a government who is doing it's best to make us a better society and feed the Filipino poor.
When will we ever learn!!!

October 06, 2005

She is my life

My Daughter Ava Beatriz Flores Stamatelaky
I am introducing to the world my precious daughter.
She was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Taken by a camera cell phone T616. She was only 5 months old when I took this picture and it was a chilly Autumn.

October 02, 2005

Florida

Jacksonville, Florida
by John Nyberg
The River is Saint Johns River. Probably this City will give a new meaning of an American Dream but poverty in this city is like what I experienced in the Philippines.