Sira-sira store: Wish gifts

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Friday, December 20, 2013

CRACKED my head all day long thinking of what gifts to give to the players in the recent calamity to hit the Visayas—typhoon Yolanda.

My uncle Gustav noted, “Oh, I thought Janet Lim-Napoles and the pork barrel are the big calamities to hit the country.”

I told him I was making symbolic gift suggestions for politicians, non-government organizations and the victims of calamities in general.

“Tread carefully, Ober,” my aunt Tita Blitte said.

“Don’t tread, uncle,” Pannon warned me.

“Be careful; don’t do it,’ my niece joy said.

With such encouraging words from the people I call my loved ones, I forged ahead.

Humble pie. To eat humble pie means to admit a fault or to apologize. This is the gift wish for those in political power. Rather than fighting over who’s fault it is that donations moved slowly, it would be better if politicians just say sorry and then look for ways to hasten aid.

The idiomatic expression sounds very much like umble pie. It was a real pie stuffed with the chopped parts of a beast’s “pluck” or the heart, liver, lungs and kidneys. (I got pluck doing this, huh.)

In turn, umble evolved from numble (the French nomble) meaning “deer’s innards,” according to wikipedia. Since the minced meats were considered inferior, the pie was served to lower-class people. Umble pie can also refer to pastries or meat pies.

Although umble and humble are not related, the “h” sound was often dropped in the Middle Ages until the 19th century.

Emergency box. For non-government organizations (NGOs) that have been restless in helping people out there, the emergency box is ideal.

What’s in the emergency box? Antiseptic to treat negative comments; flashlight to guide them in the right path; pain reliever to reduce the feeling of being away from home too long; cookies to fill their hunger while helping total strangers; and water to quench their thirst for the ideal community.

May the people in the various NGOs in the city never find it a burden to serve the community and may the community also respond by helping the NGOs.

A loaf of bread. A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and hyacinths for the soul. This is the gift I want to give to all the victims of calamities and other misfortunes. Man does not live by bread alone, it’s true, but in the here and now, man needs to sustain his body.

As people go around looking for their loaf of bread, may they also have time for a jug of wine. No, not to get drunk. But wine to strengthen the resolve to go on with life.

According to Food and Wine, there are many benefits from wine when taken in moderation. It promotes longevity, reduces heart-attack risk, lowers risk of heart disease, reduces risk of Type 2 diabetes, lowers risk of stroke, cuts risk of cataracts, cuts risk of colon cancer and slows brain decline.

But it’s not the literal imbibing of wine I am speaking of here. It is drinking from life daily and taking care of themselves even though they have lost their loved ones and homes.

Then as they become stronger, they can buy hyacinths for their soul. It means the little things we do that brings us joy. Feeding the soul can be something as simple as looking at the moon or something much bigger like helping a stranger.

By looking outside our miseries, we become more effective human beings.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 21, 2013.


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