Daily Laborer pays profound tribute to the women during this celebration of Women’s Month for their significant and continuous contribution to society while standing tall alongside men, in like manner that their sunbeams and moonbeams in life is a study of seriousness.
When we reflect on the condition of women and their relation to society, we can perceive the immense influence women possess and exert in our country.
There is this oft-said saying that if men make laws, women make manners.
It’s further said superior are women’s charms to the fascination of beauty, all the splendors of their accomplishments. How invaluable do women appear, adorned and dignified, not only by all that earth can impart, out decked in the robes of that piety and loveliness which earth can neither give or take away.
In the many years covering his beats Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Region 01 as well as Region 02, Daily Laborer has come across serious incidents of life about women, inadvertently laced with humor.
Daily Laborer had occasions to witness the fortitude which women sustain. Disasters, which often break down the spirit of man and prostrate him, seem to call forth all the energies of the fairer sex and offer such determination and rise of character, that at times, it reaches splendidness.
Nothing can be more touching than to behold a woman, who seems to be all weakness and dependence, and alive to every trivial roughness in life, suddenly rising as comforter and supporter of a husband under pain and misfortune, and fighting with firmness any bitter sting of hardship.
For the humor side of it, hopefully the women reading this issue take it with a grain of salt.
Sometime in 2002 in barangay San Nicolas, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. When a mother (even a father) ceases to be a teacher to her children, religion has ceased to be taught, so Daily Laborer was taught by a highland mother that day in barangay San Nicolas.
For Matha Kablisen, this Nueva Viscayan gardener-mother explained that day that if anything in life deserves to be considered, it is the exquisite rapture and distinguished duty of a mother observing the dawning dispositions and capacities of their children. To discover their earliest buds of thoughts and to feed with useful truths the inquisitiveness of young and curious minds.
As Kablisen wove tiger grass into walis tambo as she spoke that day with Daily Laborer who went upon a chance visit, she continued: “We, the mothers (or fathers) should direct children’s eyes, yet unsullied with the waters of contrition to a bounteous benefactor, to lift their little hands, yet unstained by vice, in prayer to the Maker of heaven and earth.”
So, it is.
For Kablisen explained that as soon as the young are released from the bondage of their nursing and no longer needs careful eye to look after, they are surrendered to instructors/teachers who polish further the character of the young, to furnish their memory and accomplish their imagination, but religion, sometimes, or rarely taught as a sentiment.
And as the young grow, how often are their hearts fluttering with vanity, encouraged to pant with envious rivalry, persuaded to contract with meanness, allowed to grow with vengeance, or reduced to absolute insensibility – before they have ever felt a sentiment of devotion or pulsation of sorrow for an offense they have done in the presence of the Almighty, Kablisen explained.
Before Daily Laborer left, Kablisen gave a parting word of sunbeams and moonbeams when she said, “To mothers, like I, out there. Believe me. We have no right to expect that the sense of religion for our young will be infused by the labors of others. It should start from us, the parents. And the labors of others will strengthen it.”
Well, in 2011, along came Susanna Pabliyen, wife of a farmer in barangay Abatan Buguias, Benguet who shared her piece of mind about women. Susanna, graduated from Benguet State University (BSU), worked in Baguio City, got married and moved with her husband to Buguias.
She said that time Daily Laborer met her: “If there be a qualification in which women also ought to excel, it is a thorough and practical acquaintance with the arts and duties of domestic life.”
Pabliyen went on to explain that her sentiment may not exactly be in accord with the opinions of this present age, but it is one that ought to be inscribed on the heart of every woman that industry and economy are her true honor. That these, far from being beneath her regard, adorn and beautify the distinguished of their sex.
Often, many can’t appreciate the obligations, cares and labors of an industrious female; and few, Daily Laborer fears, are sensible of the perpetual self-denial which many women are called to do in the performance of their laborious and repeated chores.
Pabliyen spoke that at home, a woman’s attention must be everywhere where things are in proper spheres, her authority everywhere in her own dominion, her hand on every department of domestic labor while exuding the cheerfulness and care constituting the prominent excellence of her character.
Back in 2013, Daily Laborer happened to congratulate Loban Alcido, a friend from the highlands, after seeing him surrounded with a blooming family and knit together in a strong bond.
And Alcido said, “I can wish the single men out there, no better than to have a wife and children. If a man is in prosperity, there he is to share his prosperity; if otherwise, there they have their families to comfort them.”
Indeed, Daily Laborer observed many times that a married man, falling into dire misfortune is more apt to retrieve his situation than being single; for a woman is truly the sunbeam of married life.
In 2015, Daily Laborer retold what Alcido said to Perry Maniquez, from Baguio City, another friend and also friend of Alcido. Maniquez happened to be a bachelor. Maniquez scratched his beard, hearing what Alcido advised and with tongue-in-cheek, said, “Blessed are the single, for they can double in pleasure.”
In 2016, Daily Laborer was with Doroteo Gabiton and Arnulfo Geswa, as the three stood along the side of the road at Lamtang, La Trinidad, Benguet, overheard a couple quarreling. The man, despite pleas from him to his companion to tone down her voice, was overwhelmed by the prattle of his woman-companion who spewed forth a litany of words.
After the couple left, Gabiton sighed with relief and said, “Ay, Bony, methinks women are like echoes.”
“Why do you say that?” Daily Laborer asked. And Gabiton curtly answered, “Well, they always have the last words.”
In response to Gabiton, Geswa said, “My pren Doroteo, methinks too that there is not in the whole range of musical combinations, a sweeter toned instrument than the tongue of a woman.”
Then lecturing Daily Laborer and Gabiton, Geswa said that out of the abundance of heart to the duties that constitute the fairer sex, a woman’s tongue can speak soothing to a bloodied spirit, chastening reproof to the wayward, inspiration to the disheartened and charm to the family circle.
But reverse the picture, Geswa said, and a woman’s tongue can be like the sharp cutting of a knife. This organ of sense, when released from hold can be termagant, propelled by tempest and passion into a horrible discord.
Not that we mean to exonerate the men from the full share of the blame for why women’s tongues are the way they are, Geswa hastened to add. Not we. Many ladies, as you please, are also as rough as men, as provoking as toothache, as dogged as mules, and even as brutal, Geswa explained.
But a woman, although doomed to bear to possess such a tongue, at least cannot be called upon on any husband’s account to answer in court for the flak of malice and tattle of slander heaped by the she-tongue, Geswa smilingly said.
In 2019, Daily Laborer had a rare chance to be with Fresca Daisen, a Lola of a friend residing at Burgos, La Union. Daily Laborer and Lola Fresca did not talk much about anything, except about growing old, as they watched the fading glow of the sunset.
And Lola Fresca said to the Daily laborer that time, that the discovery of a white or gray hair when brushing the hair in the morning is the first sign of fallen flake of the coming rains of age – a disagreeable thing. So are the flying twinges of gout, shortness of breath and smaller walks. . .
Ay, age that lessens life’s enjoyment, not only hits women but men as well, and often increasing the desire for living. Risks, which in vigor of youth, we learned to take for granted, haunt us as we grow old. Strange contradiction in human nature, indeed, which even the wise are liable.
Before the Daily laborer left, he took Lola Fresca’s hand and in profound respect to the dignified woman, gently said, “Lola, may you live a thousand years!”