Posted on March 19, 2005 - 11:19pm :: Contributors
Panjee Tapales Lopez
March 20, 2005

My mother once wondered how my sister and I turned out the way we did. She fondly (I think) refers to us as witches. Our children don't watch television or work with computers. At least not yet. They don't eat junk (or hardly do). We don't burden them prematurely with intellectual concepts. We put them in a Steiner school because we want them to develop into balanced human beings—in thinking, feeling and willing. We eat organic and biodynamic food when we can. Our cleansers and detergents are natural and biodegradable when possible. Our medicines are homeopathic or anthroposophic. We use allopathic remedies only when absolutely necessary. We give birth at home and without drugs. Today this seems radical given the state of the world, but years and years ago, this was the norm. The way I see it, not too many people died of cancer then or suffered the kind of debilitating diseases we're seeing today.
Posted on March 12, 2005 - 3:57pm :: Contributors
Panjee Tapales Lopez
March 12, 2005

Trust. Is there anything more scorching than its betrayal?

It happened to a girlfriend who has been going through deep life changes. A kindred spirit had called one evening to say she noticed my friend was looking unwell. Would a chat help? Though tired from a long day with her children, my friend welcomed the concern; the chance to speak to an adult she could trust. And so they spent many hours talking. My girlfriend spoke candidly, off-the-cuff even, not bothering to edit her thoughts but just saying what they were and feeling comforted that she could be totally herself, whether she made sense or not. In the end, she felt a certain lightness and gratitude for the evening. It was no means the end of her personal ordeal, but she felt heard and accepted. That was enough for now.
Posted on February 19, 2005 - 11:22pm :: Contributors
Panjee Tapales Lopez
February 19, 2005 | Philippine Star

I was grumbling over my monthly accounting last week when my phone rang. Olive, a dear friend, was excitedly telling me about a Chicago based Pinoy chef who was coming to town. "He's a friend of Marni's (her best friend) and will be here soon. He's cooked for Oprah and was one of the chefs she flew in for her 50th birthday!" she said. (We are shameless Oprah fans) "He wants to give back to the country and would like to offer his services for a fundraising activity. What do you think?"
Posted on February 12, 2005 - 11:50pm :: Contributors
Panjee Tapales Lopez
February 12, 2005 | Philippine Star

I woke with a start to the sound of fireworks, though I didn't know that until I stumbled out of bed, heart pounding, to witness a spectrum of lights spreading across the sky. Chinese New Year. Kung Hei Fat Choy! But I wasn't thrilled about the noise and the quality of air that was bad to begin with but now, judging from the noise and my diminishing ability to breathe, had taken a turn for the worse. I saw proof of all the fanfare across the skyline the following morning as I took the children to school. My younger son pointed at the haze and asked if "the brown was the works". Yes, I said with a sigh, the fireworks coated our air in another shade of brown. I looked at my older boy who, in the last few days, has been wheezing on and off and asked his angels to cloak him with a little more protection please.
Posted on February 5, 2005 - 11:50pm :: Contributors
By Panjee Tapales Lopez
Feb. 6, 2005 | The Philippine Star

Last Sunday, as I worked on my younger son’s photo album, I turned on the TV and started flipping through the channels. There was nothing on but reruns and showbiz talk shows. I couldn’t sit through any of them. The longest segment I could watch was an interview of Lucy Torres Gomez. She was defending herself against nasty rumors that have been circulating through e-mail. Earlier, I had skimmed through her newspaper column and was horrified at the e-mail she had reprinted to show what people – all of them strangers – were saying about her. I watched because she was so poised, calm and regal. It was such a welcome contrast to the general inanity and hysteria that mark these shows. At the end of the segment, one of the hosts said, "Marami pang chismis sa aming pagbabalik. Chismis lang ha. Hindi iyong nakakasakit sa tao…." I wonder how he made that distinction.