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Van verses

red earth

On the six-hour van trip from Mondulkiri to Phnom Penh this morning, I got bored listening to music and decided to write down some thoughts that have been in my mind the past few days. What came out are four simple verses which I can’t really call poems, lest my real poet friends disown me, if they haven’t already. I have not been writing poetry for some time, and (spoiler alert: brandishing rare bragging right!) although I personally got praise for my poetry from Herminio S.Beltran, editor of Ani, Cultural Center of the Philippines Literary Anthology for some of my works published there ages ago, I let my literary sword rust for years. Everyone knows there’s no excuse for writing bad poetry, so I’m just ranting here.
Lastly, three things: first is that these are about and not about Cambodia. Cambodia is just a trigger because I’ve been here four weeks already and trying to soak in as much as I could, but as I started typing on my cellphone, I realized its about many places, Cambodia, Philippines, India, and other places I have read about or seen in pictures, generic places I have created in my mind; second, simple as these verses might seem, I invite you to go beyond the first level of interpretation, and if you find something, let me know; third, I encourage you to write your thoughts. It doesn’t matter if you don’t consider yourself a writer. It doesn’t have to be a poem or essay in their strict sense. If you feel passionately about something, just write about it i the language you are comfortable with, never mind grammar and rules, just write, and see where that journey takes you.

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The transformative power of Waldorf Education

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The graduates, while Class 8 was singing the School Hymn.

(Being absent from the parents meeting for Toni’s graduation, I was volunteered to give the Parents’ Response. I said these words in the simple and intimate ceremony this morning with the lovely accompaniment of bamboo swaying and birds chirping in the background, and also with parents, teachers and students sniffing from crying because of the raw and heartfelt messages given by the graduates and teachers alike. Let me share it with you here.)

It would be hard to articulate here the experience of the parents of Mayba and Joy because nobody could really fully capture other people’s journey.  So while I will also share what little I know of their experience, I will focus more on what my family has been through and why we believe of the transformative power of Waldorf Education.

We have known about this school for some time, as some of its founders are dear friends even before we moved to Iloilo. But we became really aware of it when we needed it. Our son Toni, then turning 13, was advanced in his studies for two years due to acceleration in preschool because he was already a reader at age two. At 12, he was already showing signs of stress and school fatigue. He just finished third year in high school and would be entering the senior year. I was in a panic of thinking he would be in college at 14, knowing of the rat race in universities these days.

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