A column by Bles Carmona
For the week of May 6-12, 2015
Special days this week in May and the mother of them all
First of all, did you know that May 12 is Limerick Day? That’s because it celebrates the birthday of writer Edward Lear (1812-1888), an Irish native who popularized limerick poems when his “Book of Nonsense” was published in 1846. What is a limerick? It’s a humorous poem consisting of five lines with lines 1,2, and 5 rhyming, while lines 3 and 4 rhyme on a different scheme. Here’s an example written by Noam Kuzar from the website http://www.holidayinsights.com/.
There once was an old man from Esser
Whose knowledge grew lesser and lesser.
It at last grew so small
He knew nothing at all
And now he’s a college professor. (Noam Kuzar)
So I was inspired to make a couple of limericks of my own. Here they are:
There was once a man from Kentucky
Who felt he would win the horse derby
On mount he fell flat
What’s surprising with that
If we all just assumed he’s unlucky? (Bles C.)
There’s a lady from St. Catherine
Who sings the “Begin the Beguine”
And she starts from the end
Like it’s never quite planned
Yet the people still join her in singin’. (Bles C.)
I invite my readers to try their hand at crafting these funny verses and please send me a copy of your limericks at my email below. I will credit you properly as the author of your contributions. Thanks!
Now a little dialing back is in order, since May 5, as we know, is Cinco de Mayo and National Teachers Day as well. Cinco de Mayo has come to mean a time to celebrate the richness of Mexican and Hispanic culture, and the corresponding feeling of national pride. It was on May 5, 1862 that the Mexicans defeated the French army, and yet this single victory, just one of their many battles against colonial powers, is not synonymous with Mexican Independence Day which they actually celebrate on Sept. 16. Cinco de Mayo is a time for our Mexican brethren to sing, dance, party, make merry, and express their pride for being of Latino origin.
The Tuesday of the first full week of May is National Teachers Day. This year, it falls on May 5. We wouldn’t be where we are right now if it weren’t for those patient, persevering, creative, and inspirational people whom we call our teachers, mentors, gurus, or perhaps life coaches. Formal teaching may only be from pre-K to college but we never stop learning and we owe our continuing intellectual curiosity to our teachers in any way, shape, or form. Let us say a sincere “thank you” to these wise and dedicated individuals in our lives. Ma’am, Sir, happy National Teachers Day po sa inyo!
May 6-12 is National Nurses Week. This is our tribute to these health care workers who face frontline responsibilities in caring for children, the elderly, and people with poor health. Nurses are part of the heart of medicine with their skillful competence, empathic compassion, and clear communication. So to all the nurses working in different parts of the world, maraming salamat po sa inyo!
May 8 is always the date when Iris Day is celebrated, especially in Japan where this special day originated. For the Japanese, the iris flower and plant have a spiritual significance in that they ward off evil spirits. On Iris Day in Japan, people place iris leaves in their bath water in the belief that this practice can prevent illnesses. The people mix iris juice with their traditional sake drink as this is believed to ensure longevity. Master gardener Aida, my Mom, has a whole island of irises now in full bloom as late spring additions to her front fairy garden. When I read this bit of research to her, she was definitely tickled pink to be in tune with our Nippongo brethren through Iris Day. To my Mom, the irises in our front yard do not have to ward off evil spirits or illnesses. As far as she is concerned, her irises are just there to be — to walk in beauty, like the night, as it were, like Lord Byron wrote.
Now of course, the mother of all the holidays during this particular week still remains our worldwide Mothers Day celebration on May 10. Need you ask why? Look no further than the nurturing figure in your life who raised you and trained you until you became the mostly law-abiding and reasonable individual that you are now. I don’t care if the nurturing figure in your life was male or female – just that by dint of her/his love, sacrifices, and hard work for you, you can rightly call that person your Mother. In the interests of broadening our definition of “mother” further, let me call your attention to surrogate, alternative, and avant-garde mothers. Let me call your attention to mother-like women although they never married and never had children of their own.
These are the single women who work as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and then send remittances to the Philippines faithfully every month to finance the education of several nieces, nephews, and other relatives. These are the spinster-women who had retired from their careers and yet continue to sponsor the education of college students recommended to them by the dean. That had been the case for my grand-aunts Tomasa/Chata (RIP) and Candelaria/Andie. They were former faculty members of the Dr. Yanga School of Midwifery in Bocaue, Bulacan until their early eighties in age, and they have sent more than a handful of midwifery students to school. One grateful student even wrote to the show “Wish Ko Lang” because she wanted to pay a tribute to my grand-aunt, Candelaria Manarang, BSN, RN. I witnessed the taping, saw the finished episode on TV and oh! What a touching tribute it turned out to be.
Let me close with another limerick of mine in hopes that you’ll be inspired to write your own and share it with our readers by emailing me:
There’s a choosy belle living in Italy
Who declared she was ready to marry.
Suitors formed a long line
Day by day, rain or shine
She eloped with a brand-new Ferrari. (Bles C.)
Find advisor Blesilda44 at KEEN.com, 1-800-ASK-KEEN (1-800-275-5336), extension 05226567 either by phone or chat: Mon-Fri 7-10 pm, Sat-Sun 7-11 pm Pacific. I speak English, Tagalog, and some Spanish. For personal readings (fee required), email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org