Tuesday, February 19, 2008

We love you, Tito BOY!

The following is a comment by Judy (Altovar, on my post "Sing with the angels, Boy). As it is also a fitting tribute to Boy, I thought it should be included as one of the Philkans' Posts.
""Uncle Boy you will be truely missed by all of us who knew you and your family.
He was truely one of a kind, who devoted his time with his faith, music, and
family. Thank you for giving me and my family your love and support. You are in
a better place now where you can sing and play your heart out. We will always be
there for you and your family, as you have been there for us. "May the perpetual
light shine upon you always". Judy""


Friday, February 15, 2008


This is how I want to remember our beloved Dion(or Boy to the Philkans): Happy, cheerful, very much alive, living every moment with complete abandon !!!

Poets, sages and philosophers say, "Life is checkered light and shadow", like a checker board divided into white and black squares. At the gathering after we accompanied Boy to his final resting place, I found it surprisingly amazing and comforting how each and everyone there sees only all-white squares !!! In a comtemplative, yet elated mood I asked myself these questions : "Will my friends and family miss me like Boy ?" "Will they love me like Boy ?" "Will they see only all the white squares of my life ? "Is it possible that when one moves on to a higher plane of dimension, one starts with an all-white blank slate, all his transgressions are forgiven ?" I wonder !!! And so, death and dying can be beautiful and not altogether scary like all of us are led to believe, then ? And why not ?

Since we, the Philkans, regard ourselves as the second family of Boy, I found it fitting to include here, the anonymous poem "The Broken Chain"


We did not know that evening, that God was going to call your name
In life we love you dearly, in death we'll do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone
For part of us went with you, the day God called you home.

You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide
And though we can not see you, you're always by our side.
Our family CHAIN is broken, and nothing seems the same
But as God calls us one by one, the CHAIN will link again.

Finally, as much as we would like to sing this song during the church services, time constraint prevented us from doing so. And so, I will include it here, even if only the first verse and the refrain of "On Eagle's Wings" for Boy. "We love you", "We will miss you, Boy ! " "Sai An Jima ", "Sauka Lafia", "Safe Journey"


You who dwell on the shelter of the Lord,
Who abide in His shadow for life
Say to the Lord, "My Refuge, My Rock
In whom I trust.

And He will lift you up on eagle's wings
Bear you on the break of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hands.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sing with the Angels, Boy!

Another Philkan has left to join the angels. Yesterday, we accompanied Esperidion (Dion or Boy) Dizon Garcia, Jr. , to his final resting place .

Boy, as we fondly called him, was one of the moving forces of what is left of the Kanoans here in Los Angeles. Boy and Cita were one of the pioneer Pinoys in Kano and everybody who had been in Kano while the couple were still there can not say he had not been touched by the kindness and generosity of the couple. They simply accommodated anyone who needed it.

Boy had been a family and a community man. He's a devoted husband and father as well as a loyal and faithful friend. He loved art. He sang, played the piano and guitar, painted ...... and oh, I'm sure many, many more. And most of all, he's a man of true faith.

Boy, you will be terribly missed.

May you rest in peace!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Philkans from Canada, Ilde and Blessie Mancia, came to visit the Philkans in California! They are still as good looking and as young as when they were in Kano hosting the many dinners and kasayahans for fellow Kanoans as well as those from other states. They came to attend a reunion with their co-teachers from Raja Soliman High in Manila. Of course, the CA Philkans will not let them leave without a get-together Kano style!!!
An impromptu pot luck dinner was organized and the group came together at Manong Fred and Manang Purita Hipol's place in Paramount. Angel and Chato, Gloria and William, Lily and Cesar, Nina and her daughter, Aya, Andy and Racquel, and of course naman - Ed and yours truly reminisced with the couple. The highlight of the get-together was the planning of a Canada Escape in 2009. I'm crossing my fingers, until they hurt, na matuloy ang planong ito because I am very sure everyone will have a blast of a lifetime!!! Andy will surely keep us posted, right Andy?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Jacob and his Soccer Ball

Following Andy's instruction, I was able to add music to this slide. Am I a good student or did I have a smart teacher? Enjoy!!!
NOTE: When the music stops, hit on the speaker twice to replay the music.

Monday, April 30, 2007


I saw this article on the Internet under OPINION from USA Today by Tom Krattenmaker and deemed it worthy to share with you. Sorry, my mind has been blank for quite some time now, I can't produce anything original. Trust me, reading this will be worth your time.

It has been a season of consternation about the religious illiteracy of America. Prompting fresh knowledge of our ignorance is Stephen Prothero's new book, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs To Know - And Doesn't. The book cites research showing that even Christians are poorly acquainted with the Bible. Familiar with Benjamin Franklin's aphorism "God helps those who help themselves" ? Three quarters of us, Prothero reports, wrongly believe it comes from the Bible. Only one-half of us can name one of the four gospels of the New Testament. (For the record, they are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Only a third can identify who delivered the Sermon on the Mount. (Answer: Jesus).

The worry about religious illiteracy is well justified given the powerful influence of faith in American culture and politics. So it's also understandable that we're also witnessing a renewed determination to teach about religion in public schools. The Georgia Legislature has approved a law allowing the teaching of the Bible in public schools. According to a recent Time cover story endorsing Bible instruction , public-school courses on the Bible, while far from numerous are increasingly popular around the country.

That's well and good, provided the curricula and instructors respect the crucial difference between promoting religion and teaching about religion. But here's a suggestion that will test our seriousness about developing religious literacy in this country. Let's also teach about Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and the world's other major religions. Especially, let's teach students about Islam.

Out of sight in Oregon

The necessity of learning about the world's second most-popular religion was driven home for me on a recent visit to a small K-8 school in Oregon, operated by the Muslim Educational Trust. I initially noticed the conspicuous absence of an address - even a city - on the school's website. Upon arrival, I was struck again by the school's deliberate obscurity. Tucked behind a fence, it bore no sign and gave no indication whatsoever that students and teachers (many of them Caucasians, incidentally) were busy at work behind it's non-descript white walls.

You can guess the reason why the school keeps its profile low. Islam is reviled in many quarters, equated with terrorism and iron-clad theocracy. Muslims and their mosques have been the targets of occasional violence and vandalism since the 9/11 attacks, and polling data show that nearly half the American public harbors negative views of Islam.

Muslims and their faith are also on the receiving end of some harsh rhetorical attacks. Consider evangelical Christian leader Franklin Graham and his notorious post-9/11 comments about Islam - a "very evil and wicked religion," in the estimation of Graham, the son of the revered evangelist Billy Graham and the man who delivered the invocation at President Bush 's first inauguration. Also joining the tarring-and-feathering of Islam is author Craig Winn, who has argued that the war on terror should be reconceived as the war on Islam because, as Winn sees it, terrorism is not a misapplication of the Muslim faith but its truest expression.

Awash in these negative images of Islam, I found it fascinating to see a different face of Islam as I toured the Oregon school and listened to Wajdi Said, the executive director of the Muslim Educational Trust. Said, who has lived in this country for almost 20 years, contends that Americans dwell in near-complete ignorance of Islam, especially what it teaches about relations with other religions.

"The Islamic faith accepts marriage of Muslims to Christians and Jews," Said points out. In fact, Said adds, Islam's history with other faiths hasn't always been adversarial. Just the opposite, he says.

"Christianity and Judaism flourished under the protection of Muslim leaders through most of our history. We have a great history, and a great faith that accepts everybody. We need to educate Americans about the loving and caring face of Islam," Said says.

Unfortunately for Said and his colleagues, it's a different face of the religion that we tend to see in the West today. Islamic fundamentalist committing violence in the name of their faith and supposed followers of the prophet shouting their hatred of "infidels". The emergence of al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden, only reinforces the dangerous face of Islam. The slaying of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Riots over the publishing of prophet Mohammed cartoons. The list goes on. Scholars and pundits may debate the scriptural legitimacy of these expressions of the Muslim faith. But there's no denying Islam's image in the West

How to counter that with appreciation for the hundreds of millions of Muslims who go about their business and religious practice in peace ? It all points back to education. Thankfully, many colleges and universities have programs in Islamic studies and Arabic-language instruction. But while higher education is responding to the national need, "we have a long way to go"when it comes to teaching about Islam in American public schools, says Charles Haynes, who directs public education programs for the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center in Arlington, Va. Teaching effectively about the Muslim faith, according to Haynes, has become all the more difficult post-9/11, in part because of conservative political pressure.

From a practical standpoint, teaching about Islam offers compelling benefits for effective military and diplomatic strategy. The world is "aflame in faith," as Yale University professor Jon Butler has written. The men and women of the U.S. military tend to know little about religions other than their own, Butler notes, "yet they have been asked to fight wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq over the past 15 years in which religion has stood at the very center of each conflict".

A hopeful view of the world

Call it extreme optimism, but it is my hope that greater understanding of the world's religions could eventually make the military argument moot. Understanding can lead us away from seeing only the worst in our ostensible "enemies," and away from the religion-fueled violence that scars our time. Maybe hope can be drawn from a change that's about to happen at Said's school. Anti-Muslim sentiment has calmed to the point where he feels he can finally mount a sign at the small campus, and he is moving ahead with plans to do precisely that.

Is it true that "Islam is peace"? That's as over-simplified as saying Islam is inherently violent. In truth, the essence of Islam is a complex and contested issue. Much the same could be said about Christianity.

Yes, let's teach our students about the Bible. But if we're going to offer the kind of education that can make a difference in our divided world, let's not stop there. Let's make sure our students go into the world with some understanding of the Quran.

Tom Krattenmaker, who lives in Portland, Ore., specializes in religion in public life and is a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Surprise, Surprise !!!

It was a total surprise for me to have successfully embedded the slide show of my grandsons. Thanks, Andy, for urging me on. I hope it stays.
I wanted to add this to the post but I was afraid to undo the embedding again. Naty, since you are able to read our posts regularly, why don't you try posting, too? Ask anyone (much) younger than us (chuckle and grin) and it won't take you a day. Trust me.

P.S. to My Three Grandsons