Monday, October 23, 2023

The Border Vampire

A long time ago, just at the border between Mexico and the United States, there was a vampire. People were afraid of crossing the border because this bloodthirsty vampire of unknown nationality would jump on people as they crossed and did naughty things to them!

Anyway, in Mexico there was this family. The wife was sick and about to die, and the father-in-law and mother-in-law begged the husband to cross the border because the medicine they needed could only be found in the US.

The husband would not go; he was afraid of the vampire. He was afraid the fiend would do naughty things to him! But one day his best friend came to visit him and told him, "What are you so afraid of, compadre? Listen, I'll teach you a powerful spell in Spanish that will send the vampire away. When the vampire assaults you, say it out loud so that he can hear it and fear it. It goes like this:

 "Vampiro fronterizo que por las noches volaras

"a pesar de tus hechizos mis nalgas no las tendrĂ¡s"

 [Roughly translated, to keep the rhyme]:

"Border vampire, at night many victims you will have,

"but even with your spells, my butt you will not grab!"

 Armed with the Spanish spell, the man went on his way and started crossing the border. Slowly... slowly... when suddenly the nefarious border vampire appeared, moving closer and closer! Quickly, the man shouted the Spanish spell:

 "Vampiro fronterizo que por las noches volaras

"a pesar de tus hechizos mis nalgas no las tendrĂ¡s" 

"Border Vampire, at night many victims you will have,

"but even with your spells, my butt you will not grab!"

After hearing the spell, the vampire kept moving closer and closer... and closer. And even though he advanced with evil, naughty intentions, he looked at the man in a puzzled way and blurted out in English, "What??"

[The vampire was no longer of unknown nationality. Obviously, the vampire was a Gringo. What do you call someone who can only speak one language? American.]

- The End -

Friday, October 20, 2023

Missing Family

It's been five days since I got back to Mexico City from a three-week stay in Minneapolis to visit my sister and her family.

I have to say I already miss the talks and walks I had with my sister, playing with my two nephews, and the drinking sessions with my brother-in-law.

But such is life. We all need to go back to the place we call home -- wherever that place is.

It's been a little less than seven years since I made the big decision to depart the Philippines for good and live with my wife (then my girlfriend) here in Mexico City. It's been great -- don't get me wrong. Mexicans are warm and friendly (like Filipinos), Mexico is a beautiful country, and it has been fun (okay -- sometimes painful) learning Spanish.  

Living here in North America, however, makes it difficult to visit the Philippines regularly -- the biggest problem, obviously, is the expensive plane tickets. And it hasn't helped that this so-called revenge travel has jacked up the price of flights. 

Which is why I'm thankful that my sister and her family live relatively close to me. Needless to say, visiting them in the United States is a lot easier and cheaper than going home to the Philippines. Still, I wish I could visit them more often, but then I don't have a bottomless pocket, and I can't stay away from work all the time.

As my sister wrote in a caption to a Facebook post where she uploaded a photo of the two of us outside their home in Minneapolis, a picture beautifully snapped by my talented seven-year-old nephew who also has a knack for origami and illustration:

Goodbyes are hard.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Criticizing Israel Is Not Anti-Semitism

Let's be clear: calling out Israel on its version of apartheid against Palestine is not anti-Semitism. Land seizure, home demolitions, and forced evictions are crimes against humanity, and the Israel government's system of oppression and domination imposed on the Palestinian people through Israeli laws, policies, and practices should be rightfully condemned in the strongest possible terms.

Since time immemorial, the Israeli government has weaponized this anti-Semitism rhetoric against critics of the Israel invasion of Palestine. It's high time this false narrative is turned on its head.