Friday, May 25, 2012

Chrysanthemum Chapter 5

"Wait a minute!" Chrys said as she put her earrings. There were knocks on the door.

She went to open it.

"Hi!" It was Lynn Mijares , her flatmate.

"Hello, Lyn!" Chrys replied.

Lyn was a missionary staff of the Asian Evangelistic Mission. She just arrived from the office. A graduate of political science from the University of the Philippines, she desired to take up law.

But her involvement in the radical movement in the Philippines only gave her trouble as she skipped classes to join anti-government protests.

She got failing grades in several of her subjects. Disgusted over her radical activities and poor grades, her parents told her to quit school when she was in her third year.

After one semester of inactivity at home in San Joaquin, Iloilo, she requested her parents to send her back to the University of the Philippines.

Her parents allowed her to re-enroll at U.P. on two conditions: she would stop her involvement in the Marxist movement, and strive for good grades.

Lyn promised them she would.

She re-enrolled at U.P. in June, 1972.

On September 21, 1972, before the first semester of the school year ended, President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Proclamation 1081, placing the Philippines under Martial Law.

Lyn was spared from jail but several of her comrades in the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) were apprehended and incarcerated.

All universities and colleges in the Philippines were closed for more than a month after martial law was declared.

Lyn went back to San Joaquin for vacation. She returned to U.P. Diliman when classes resumed.

On November 24, 1972, she was invited by her dorm-mate at the Sampaguita Residence Hall to a Friday Evening Fellowship of students at Ben Lor Bldg., along Quezon Boulevard in Quezon City.

 There, during the fellowship, an American missionary named Joanne Huntington shared with her the love and forgiveness of Christ with the use of a yellow booklet called The Four Spiritual Laws.

Lyn committed herself to God by receiving Jesus Christ through faith as her Savior and Lord.

She became active in the ministry of U.P. Campus Crusade for Christ, and was once editorial assistant of ENCOUNTER, the official publication of the Christian organization.

After graduation, she joined the staff of WOMEN, a monthly magazine.

She quit the publication after two years.

With the conviction that God was calling her to mission work, she enrolled in a Christian mission school in Baguio City.

After graduation, she joined the Asian Evangelistic Mission as a missionary to Hong Kong. That was in 1980.

She had stayed in Hong Kong for almost nine years now.

"Preparing for work?" Lyn asked Chrysanthemum.

"Yes," Chrys answered.

"You look gorgeous!"

"I always am!"

They both laughed.

"Do you have work tonight? Or an appointment?" Chrys asked.

"None. But I want to rest."

"Hey, why don't you go with me this time?"


"Hopewell Centre!"

"Come on, Chrys! What will I do there?"

"Listen to me! You never heard me sing"

"Of course I did. Several times!"


"Here! You sometimes sing in the bathroom!"

Chrys burst into laughter.

"Maybe here, but that's unofficial! You have never heard me sing accompanied by a violin and a guitar."

"You mean you have an official voice?"

"I sure have! And you have never heard it."

"Maybe I will one day."

"Come on Lyn. I have already invited you several times. More than five times if I can remember! Besides, that's not a night club or a disco house. It is a decent restaurant. A very nice place!" she said, the smile gone.

"Okay... I'll go with you this time!"

"Ayan!" Chrys said, smiling again.

An hour later, they were on Thomson Road.

They turned left on O'Brien Road, passing by an array of yellow-flowering trees near the Wan Chai MTR Station.

They walked along Johnston Road, by the Southern Stadium Bldg.

Then they crossed Johnston Road to a nameless street before Amoy Street, to the direction of Admiralty.

The nameless street goes directly to the Hopewell Centre, situated along Queen's Road East.

"Don't you get tired, walking to your work, six times a week?" Lyn asked.

"Sometimes, but it's good exercise. Good for the heart."

Upon reaching the Hopewell Centre Bldg, they took the escalator to the third floor. Hopewell Centre is a cylindrical building which was once the tallest building in Asia.

From the third floor where a shopping arcade and the Tsuruya Japanese Restaurant are located, an elevator lifted them to the 17th floor.

From the 17th floor, they took a glass elevator to the 56th floor.

"Wow! What a scenery! Hong Kong glows at night!" Lyn exclaimed, beholding Victoria Harbour and Kowloon.

"Your first time to come here?" Chrys asked, surprised.


"How long have you been in Hong Kong?"

"About nine years."

"Gosh! Where have you been?"

"Many. But not here!"

The elevator reached the 56th floor. They took another elevator to the 62nd floor where the restaurant called Revolving 66 is located.

"Hi, Chrys!" the receptionist greeted Chrysanthemum.

"Hello, Helen! How are you tonight?"

"Fine. Thank you."

"By the way, Helen, please meet my friend Lyn. Lyn, this is Helen Ng, our receptionist."

"Hello, Lyn! Your first time here?"

"Yes, this is a nice place."

"It is. Hope you'll enjoy it!" Helen said.

Lyn smiled at her.

"By the way, is Boy around already?"

"Yes. Inside."

"What about Danny?"

"Just arrived. He's inside too."

Boy and Danny accompanied Chrys. The former played the guitar; the latter, the violin.

"Excuse us, Helen."

"Sure! Nice to meet you, Lyn."

"Same here!" Lyn replied.

They both went inside the Revolving 66 Restaurant.

It was full of people. Chinese, Americans, Japanese, British, and other Europeans.

Lyn followed Chrys to a table reserved for her. Boy and Danny were already seated.

"Hi, Chrys!" Danny was the first to greet her.

"Hello, Chrys!" Boy seconded.

"Hello! By the way, please meet my flatmate, Lyn Mijares. She's a missionary."

"Hi, Lyn!" Danny shook her hand.

So did Boy. "Your first time here?" he asked.


"Please take your seat," Danny said.

The four sat down, Chrys opposite Danny, and Lyn opposite Boy.

"What's your order?" Chrys asked Lyn.

"You decide. You're my boss tonight."

Chyrs laughed. She called for the waitress.

"Please give her a steak, fruit salad, and Coke. Citrus drink for me. Hot, please!" Chrys told the waitress. "What about you guys?"

"Thanks, were through,"  Danny replied.

Lyn looked at Victoria Harbour.

"This restaurant turns, that's why it's called Revolving 66. As it turns, you see the whole of Hong Kong," Chrys told her.

"Nice place," Lyn remarked.

"You like it?" Chrys asked.

Lyn nodded. She really liked the place.

"Then come here more often."

"Only if you pay my bill," Lyn said, smiling.

Her three companions laughed.

Minutes later, their order arrived.

"What time is it?" Chrys asked Danny, as she sipped the hot citrus drink.

"Three minutes to singing time," Danny answered.

"Lyn, we'll leave you for a while. It's singing time," Chrys said.

"Go on! I can manage," she replied with confidence.

The three left her to entertain the diners.
<< Return to Chapter 4 | Proceed to Chapter 6 >> 

Comment Using Facebook

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chrysanthemum Chapter 4

"Tony, Philippine Society has become a joke!"  Michael lamented.

He was talking to Lt. Antonio dela Serna, his classmate at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), in the Armed Forces of the Philippines Commissioned Officers Club (AFPCOC). It was lunchtime.

"The Task Force Detainees and the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates are condemning us of human rights violations for the death of those terrorists. Crazy!!!" he blurted out.

"Well, I don't wonder. They're fronts of the Communist Party," Lt. dela Serna replied.

"Yeah! The commies have so many front organizations and this government has legitimized them."

"Sssh! Your mouth! You maybe mistaken as Gringo's buddy."

"Damn it! The Sparrows killed my driver! That woman they said was a plain civilian was the one who shot him!"

"What about the ten year old girl?"

"It was an accident. In an ambush situation like that, anybody could be hit."

"What about Sgt. Calma? Has he been buried?"

"Three days ago... in his hometown."

"Where was he from?"

"Malolos, Bulacan".

"Does he have a family?"

"Yeah! Five children... four girls and one boy.  The youngest girl is two years old."

Lt. dela Serna bit his lip and looked at Michael. The look lasted for almost a minute.

Then he took the glass of water from the tray and drank it all.

"Maybe," Tony said, "those so-called human rights advocates think that soldiers are not human."

"Maybe," Michael quipped.

"Mike, does Chrys know about the ambush?"

"I don't know... I haven't informed her. I think it is better that way. Don't you think so?"

"Perhaps," Tony said. 

"Are you serious with her?"

Michael nodded.

"Then why don't you settle down?" What are you waiting for?"

Michael was silent.

"Mike, Chrys has been your girl since our academy days. I haven't even known my wife then. Now, I have a daughter and a son."

Michael sipped the bottle of Coke on his table.

"Mike... what's wrong?"

Michael looked at the bottle of Coke he was holding. Then he looked at Tony.

"Our country..."

Lt. dela Serna met him eyeball to eyeball.

"Mistah... the country can wait... Chrys can't wait forever."

Michael looked down again on the Coke he was holding.

"I guess I'm too old-fashioned."

Tony smiled. "Mike, I know Patton is your favorite. You've read books about him. You know his exploits. You want to be like him."

Michael looked at Tony again.

"And I know you love this country..."

He listened intently.

"You're a principled man, I know... and you will gladly die for your beliefs..."

Michel looked at his almost empty plate.

"But, Mistah, you're also human. And as a human being, you're equally entitled to happiness. Don't you think so?

He didn't reply.

"Mike, this war may last long. I don't know... I hope not. And..."

"That's another thing Tony. We are deeply involved in this war. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?"


"We may be dead, or crippled... useless remnants of this war."

Tony gestured with his hand and asked, "And you don't want to leave Chrys a widow? Is that what you are saying?"

Michael smiled wryly.

"You want to make her a spinster then?"

He looked at Tony.

"Do her a favor, will you?"


"Ask her to enter the convent."

Michael was silent.

"If she will be a nun, at least she can dutifully pray for your safety day and night," Tony derisively said. "She can pray that you won't go six feet below the ground too early. Like those stupid terrorists!"

Michael looked his friend straight in the eyes.

"Mike, you're my friend and I love you. I'm glad I'm your friend so I can tell you, hopefully without offense, that you're nuts if you continue to refuse to marry Chrys."

Michael looked down on his plate.

"If Chrys was my girlfriend when we were in the academy, I would have married her right after graduation."

"If she refused?" Michael asked.

"I would kidnap her!" Tony replied.

Michael laughed.

"Look, Mistah... why think of being dead or crippled? If I always thought of these things, do you think I would ever get married?" Tony asked to show his point. "Do you think I would have those two precious kids? You would never be a godfather to Sofia!"

Michael took the spoon from his plate and played it with his hands.

"We were in Sulu together. Then Samar. With God's help, we are still alive and kicking. You think you'ld be dead next week? How'd you know?"

"How can we know?" Michael asked with humor.

"Look, Mike, MacArthur fought two world wars and the Korean war, But he survived! He died in old age," Tony said. "If it's time for you to go, you'll go..."

"Whether you're in a fiesta or in a battlefield..." Michael said.

"Right, Michael! You've got it!" Tony winked. "Ninoy Aquino thought he would be president after Marcos, but he died ahead of him on the tarmac."

Michael nodded.

He asked Tony, "What time do you have?"

"1:30," Tony replied.

"I think its time to go. I'll see Gen. Manuel this afternoon".

"Why?" Tony asked.

"We'll talk about my assignment in Bataan."

"When will you go there?"

"Possibly, third week of September?"

"Okay... by the way, what's Chrys' address and phone in Hong Kong? Anne will go there in September?"

"Maybe, within the last week. Her sister who has been working there invited her."

Michael took his pen and a stationary from his appointment book, and wrote the address of Chrys.

Chrysanthemum Aspiras
86-84 (Flat A) 3rd Floor
Thomson Road, Wan Chai,
Hong Kong
Tel 5-8756214

He handed the address to Tony.

They stood and walked out of the clubhouse.

"Mistah, think well of what I said."

Michael nodded.

Then, Tony tapped his back and walked to his car.

Michael stood outside the AFPCOC for minutes, pondering on the advice of Tony. As his thoughts wandered to Chyrs, he felt a stinging emptiness created by her absence.

<< Return to Chapter 3 | Proceed to Chapter 5 >> 

Comment Using Facebook

Friday, May 18, 2012

Chrysanthemum Chapter 3

Michael was pensive in the army jeep when he left the airport.

His thoughts were on Chrys and his new assignment to Cabcaben, Bataan.

His love for Chrys was real and he knew this.

The years they spent together as childhood friends, then as sweethearts, were very precious to him.

No. He would not allow fate or circumstances to swallow them.

He knew too well the love of Chrys.

Many men had courted her, some perhaps more qualified than him both in stature and status.

He also knew that she would not love a man for his looks alone.

Chrys was romantic. She, too, has valued the years they had known each other.

Those years had strengthened their love for each other more than anything else.

He wanted to propose marriage, but his salary as a first lieutenant was too meager to make both ends meet.

Her family was well-off. The only daughter of a former congressman in La Union, she had not been used to hardship. They had maids since birth.

If he married her at this time, he wanted her to become a full time housewife. Chrys had acceded to this.

But marriage would be tough.

She would stay in his family's apartment along Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong, doing the house chores.

While he would be out there in roads, fields, and jungles, fighting the insurgents, wondering if he would come home alive.

Why had Chrys stuck to him? She had several suitors. An actor. A lawyer. A businessman. A congressman-widower.

All of them had proposed marriage, except himself.

"Sir, ang ganda pala ni Ma'am, kahawig ni Amalia Fuentes noong kasikatan pa niya," Sgt. Alfredo Calma, the driver said.

"Oo nga, Sir, tinamaan tuloy ako," said C2C Danilo Concepcion who was in the back of the jeep fondling a baby armalite.

"Oy! Tumigil ka diyan! Baka mamaya, batukan ka pa ni Sir!" Sgt. Calma rebuffed Concepcion.

"Ikaw naman, binibiro lang si Sir, eh!"

"Sir, taga saan po siya?" Sgt. Calma asked.

"Townmate ko."

"Ah, San Fernando, La Union. May pinsan po ako doon. Doming Alvarez. Si Ma'am po, ano ang apelyido?"


"Kaano-ano po siya ng dating congressman doon?"

"Anak. Graduate siya sa UP College of Music."

"Naku ang swerte ninyo, Sir!" C2C Concepcion exclaimed. "Beauty and brains na, mayaman pa! Ganyan ang pangarap kong mapangasawa!"

"Patulan ka naman kaya?" Sgt. Calma joked.

"Oy! Oy! Huwag mong ismolin ito. Pogi yata ito! Halos kasing pogi ni  Sir," Concepcion declared.

"Oy! Mahiya ka naman kay Sir," Sgt. Calma said. "Si Antonia nga hindi mo mapasagot!"

"Naku, pakipot lang yun!"

The two laughed.

"Al, sa Boni muna tayo. May kukunin lang ako sa bahay," Michael said as they neared the junction of EDSA and Ayala Avenue.

"Yes, Sir," Sgt. Calma replied.

The jeep cruised EDSA and turned left to Buendia Avenue Extension. It turned to Makati Avenue going to the bridge which connects Makati to Mandaluyong across the Pasig River.

After it crossed the bridge, it turned to the right, passing along squatters' shanties.

As it turned to a narrow street going to the Mandaluyong Municipal Hall, a young woman in maong pants and jacket suddenly appeared on the street.

Michael sensed an ambush and quickly drew his .45 caliber pistol. The woman also drew her .45 caliber pistol and fired twice at the driver. The first shot missed him, but the second pierced his neck.

"Sir! Ambush!" C2C Concepcion shouted.

Michael fired twice at the woman as the jeep passed by her.

She was hit twice, on the neck and on the stomach. She fell to the side of the street.

The jeep hit a wall, as the driver slumped to the jeepney's seat, unconscious.

As the jeep hit the wall, two young men, one in maong pants and white jacket, and the other in black pants and brown jacket, appeared on the street.

The first drew a .45 caliber pistol and fired twice at Michael as he got out of the jeep. Both shots missed him.

The other gunman shot C2C Concepcion thrice. Concepcion ducked, and the bullets missed him.

Michael returned fire thrice. The first bullet hit the terrorist on the left eye, the second one on the abdomen, and the third on the stomach. He fell dead.

C2C Concepcion also returned automatic fire with his armalite, hitting the other gunman on the left shoulder. Another bullet hit the leg of a ten year old girl, a few meters away from the terrorist.

The terrorist fled into the squatters' area.

C2C Concepcion got out of the jeep and ran after the terrorist.

"Concepcion, huwag!!!" Michael shouted.

He knew the Sparrows' tactics. Two or three other terrorists would be waiting in ambush if Concepcion pursued the fleeing terrorist. He would be an open, easy target.

Michael went back to the jeep to check on Sgt. Calma. He felt Calma's pulse. He was dead.

Concepcion  also walked to the jeep to check on Calma.

"Sir, okay ba si Al?"

"Patay na," Michael sadly replied.

Minutes later, Mandaluyong policemen came to the ambush site.

The Chief-of-Police ordered his men to cordon and comb the squatter's area.

But the terrorists were gone. Three young men, including the wounded terrorist, fled in a hijacked taxicab to Makati Avenue.

One of the terrorists ordered the taxi driver at gunpoint to proceed to Roxas Blvd.

Upon reaching Roxas Blvd, they told him to drive to the back of the Manila International Film Festival Building where a brown tinted car was waiting.

Minutes later, the brown car was cruising the highway to Cavite. It would proceed to the province of Laguna, the territory of the NPA commander named Ka Roger.

<< Return to Chapter 2 | Proceed to Chapter 4 >> 

Comment Using Facebook

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chrysanthemum Chapter 2

It was thirty minutes before flight time when the taxi reached the Manila International Airport, renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport after the 1986 February Revolution against the regime of President Marcos.

The fare reached 286 pesos.

She gave 300 pesos to the taxi driver and told him to keep the change.

The taxi driver hurriedly took her baggage from the trunk, as she went out of the car.

"Ma'am, may I help you," a young man told her as he took the baggage from the taxi driver. It was the aide of Lt. Michael Biazon.

Another man in maong pants and jacket, sporting Corvette sunglasses, approached her.

"You're late, Madame," he quipped.

She turned to him. It was Lt. Biazon.

She smiled, got near him, and held his hand.

"Michael, I'm sorry. The traffic at EDSA was awful," she reasoned out.

"Okay, let's go in before the plane leaves you. But first your favorite," he said as he handed her a dozen of white Chrysanthemums carefully wrapped in cellophane paper.

"Thanks, dear. You're always thoughtful," she said as they went to the departure area.

The guard at the departure gate saluted as they passed through.

"I love you, Chrys, very much," he reassured her.

"If your love is real, when will you marry me? When you're already a general?" she kidded him.

Michael laughed as he looked at her.

"I thought you have learned well the art of patience," he commented.

She pouted to show her displeasure at his reply.

"Don't worry, you'll soon be Mrs. Biazon. Promise!" he said with a loving look.

To a woman like her, the promise was pleasant to hear, but less convincing this time because Michael had already told it to her twice.

The conversation stopped as they approached the Philippine Airlines booth.

She gave her passport and ticket to the ground stewardess.

"How many baggages, Ma'am?" the stewardess asked.

"Just one," Chrys replied as the ground stewardess checked her passport and ticket.

The stewardess handed them back to her. "Okay, Ma'am!"

"Let's go," Michael put his arm on her back, a gesture of appeasement.

They hurriedly proceeded to the immigration gate.

"Michael, take care of yourself," she told him with tenderness.

"I will. For you," he answered, as he nodded with a smile.

He kissed her. Then, he let her go.

<< Return to Chapter 1 | Proceed to Chapter 3 >>

Comment Using Facebook

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Chrysanthemum Chapter 1

The taxi driver who was bringing her to the airport was as impatient as she was.

It was a heavy traffic they were in caused by the collision of a cargo truck and a Sarao passenger jeepney at the crossroad of EDSA and Santolan St. 

Michael may have been waiting for her at the airport, she thought. He told her last night that he would just proceed there from his meeting with Col. Jimmy Punzalan at the Civil Relations Service office in Camp Aguinaldo.

Irritantly, she asked the driver why cargo trucks were allowed to ply Santolan road at day time.

“Hindi ko alam. Matagal na po yang mga trucks na iyan. Kahit makikipot na kalye, pumapasok sila,” the driver answered.

“Sa  Hong  Kong  po,  bawal  pumasok  ang  mga cargo trucks sa busy streets,” Chrysanthemum said.

“Dito po sa atin, puwede ang lahat. Kahit mga smoke belching buses, hinahayaan. Nakakainis nga!” the driver remarked.

“Palagay  ko  po  traffic  policy  ang  kulang  natin,”  she said.

“Siguro  nga,”  he  answered,  wondering  what  a  traffic policy was.

The Toyota taxi they were riding in had been stranded at EDSA for more than one hour now. It was 11:45 A.M., and she should check-in at the airport at least an hour before her 1:30 P.M. scheduled flight.

“Bulletin!  Chronicle!  Inquirer!  Bulletin!  Chronicle! Inquirer!” The newsboy approached their taxi.

“Pakisabi po sa boy, Bulletin,” she told the taxi driver.

He  opened  his  window  and  beckoned  the  newsboy  to come.

“Bulletin!” the driver shouted.

She gave the driver a five peso bill. The driver handed it to the newsboy who hurriedly gave back the P2.50 change. Then, he went a way.

“Sukli, Miss,” the driver said as he handed the change to her.

The picture on the front page which caught her attention showed  the  lifeless  body  of  a  Presidential  Security  Group officer slained by members of the Sparrow Unit of the New People's  Army  in  a  busy street in  Pandacan.  The  officer's body sprawled in his car, his head oozing with blood.

The  accompanying story  cited propaganda as  a  major reason for the slaying. It was timed during the visit  of US Vice President Dan Quayle.

The  communists  wanted  to project  strength  to  arrest their decline, and one way to do this was to strike an officer of the Presidential Security Group in broad daylight right in the heart of Metro Manila.

She  turned  to  the editorial  page.  The editorial  condemned the senseless killings in the country, and called for unity  among Filipinos in the  effort  of  preventing  a further escalation of violence.

Just  a few  days  before  the  killing  of  the  PSG  officer, two Americans were killed in Capas, Tarlac by the NPAs.

The  killings  were  also  timed  for  the  visit  of  Quayle. Propaganda  was  the  foremost  objective.  The communists wanted  to  project internationally  their  opposition  to  the existence of the US bases in the Philippines. To dramatize the opposition, they killed two American civilians.

The NPAs promised to kill more Americans if the bases were not dismantled.

Sadness crept in her heart as she thought of the victims, their widows, and their orphans.

The  communist  revolution  had  brought  all  their  sorrows, she thought.

Michael came to her mind again, the only man she had loved.

She silently  prayed  that  God  wouldn't let  it  happen  to him.

Proceed to Chapter 2 >>

Comment Using Facebook

Friday, May 11, 2012

News From Cambodia

Dear June, family, and friends:

      I have just arrived in Siem Reap on my way to Poi Pet,Cambodia,  and then to Aranyaphratet, Thailand..

      I rented a bicycle this afternoon, and went biking around the city. Bike rental is only US$1 for half a day.  It's cheaper than riding a "tuk tuk". Tuk tuk drivers charge you US$2 per trip on short distance, and more on long distance, say more than 5-kms.

      But if you know how to bike around, then you save a lot as you see the scenic and historical spots.

      I biked to the house of King Norodom Sihanouk. He has a mansion in front of the plaza. Hotels are plenty here, including new and grand ones. I biked to the Royal Angkor Hotel which I visited in 2008.

       Angkor Wat is not far away from where I am. But it is closed at night. It opens from 9 AM t6o 5 PM. I don't think I can go there tomorrow because the bus which would take us to Poipet, a city border to Aranyaphratet, Thailand, will leave at 8 AM. Anyway, I visited Angkor Wat twice in the past, once with my wife in 2006, and then with my old friend Romy Lapuz in 2009. If I stay here for another day, I may have very little time in Burma, and that's my destination now because I have never been there yet.

       I want to write a novel about my trip to Burma.

       On my way to Siem Reap from Pnom Penh  in a bus, I had a sitmate named Mok Phealey, a Cambodian. We had a talk about the time when Pol Pot ruled Cambodia. He told me that he was born in 1979, the last year of the communist rule (Khmer Rouge). He said they lost his elder sister during the rule of the Khmer Rouge due to starvation and sickness.

        "My parents related to me how she died. She was starving to death, together with all of us. Then, she got sick, and she died," he said.

         They were three siblings - two girls and him. He is the youngest.

         " I and my other sister almost died,too, because we had little to eat, just the pooridge given by the Khmer Rouge. How my parents manage to keep us alive was a miracle. If  the Khmer Rouge soldiers caught anybody eating what they did not supply, the person is immediately put to death. It is their rule that nobody should eat what they did not give,"he said.

           I asked him : "You mean if someone was caught climbing a mango tree for the fruit, and he ate the fruit, he would be killed?"

           "Yes," he replied.

           "Why?" I asked.

           "Because to the Khmer Rouge (Red Khmers)  everything is theirs. If you eat even the grass of the field or the leaves of the tree and they caught you eating, they would execute you at once because you broke their rule and you stole the grass which is theirs," he replied.

           "The Khmer Rouse also issued just one uniform to everyone - black uniform. Nobody was allowed to wear clothes which were not issued by the Khmer Rouse. Anyone who dared too do  so would be killed at once," he said.

           Last 2010 when I was in Takeo, Cambodia, I was able to interview the wife of a pastor - Mrs. Routh Ratha. She told me this story:

           " I was only six years old when the communists took power in Cambodia in 1975. All children were given work. The work the Khmer Rouge gave to all children was to pick up all the dungs of the workers in the fields. There were 12 children in each team - 6 boys and 6 girls. All the boys in our team died, and three girls died. Only three of us survived. One is living in Takeo until now. The other girl married an American when she grew up, and they are living in the US today. We would scoop dung from the fields and forests where thousands of forced laborers defecated. We started  working at 6 AM after breakfast. The Khmer Rouge soldiers were very young. They would wake us up at 5 AM, and have breakfast. Then, we started gathering dung until 12 PM, rest for lunch, and gathered dung again at 1:00 PM until 6 PM. Then we rest and sleep early because we would wake up at 5 AM and do the same thing every day, non stop."

         "What did you do with the human dungs you gathered (tae ng mga tao),"? I asked her..

          The Khmer Rouge told us to mix the human dungs with the pooridge (lugaw,in Tagalog) which the workers assigned to cook were cooking. They asked us to taste the pooridge because the Khmer Rouge did not want to taste the pooridge with human dung. The cooks would give the pooridge as food to the thousands of workers," she explained.

          "There was little food to eat. So, we would secretly eat leaves and grass. Anyone caught by the Khmer Rouge eating leaves and grass or any fruit would be killed," she said.

           From 1975 to 1979,)when the Khmer Rouge( i.e. Red Khmers of communist Khmers) ruled Cambodia, three million (3,000,000) Cambodians, died out of the total population of 7-million in April 1975 when they took over.. They died of bullets, bayonets, starvation, diseases and epidemics, snake bites  and other causes.

          "There is hardly a family that did not have a dead member, except the families of the communist leaders because they had plenty of food  and medicine," Mok Phealey, my sitmate in the bus to Siem Reap, told me., SO, IN ACTUAL PRACTICE, THE PARTY LEADERS AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE MORE EQUAL THAN THE REST OF THE POPULATION IN A COMMUNIST COUNTRY.

Thursday, March 15, 2012 10:44 PM

Comment Using Facebook

Download Link Instructions:
  1. If you purchased an Audio Book or E-book, payment will be made via PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account, you can still sign up for one using your credit card.
  2. Once PayPal verifies payment and payment has cleared, you will be given a link to download the complete Zip file containing all the mp3 chapters (for Audio Books) or link to download the EPUB file (for E-books). You will also be sent an email with this link. Note: The product is available to download for 24 hours only, so make sure you have a reliable Internet connection. File sizes may range from 50 MB to 100 MB for Audio Books. So please make sure you have an suitable mp3 player (like Winamp) and software for opening zip files (like 7-zip). For E-books, make sure you have an EPUB reader (like the Sony's Free E-reader).
  3. If you're using Winamp, please order the mp3 files by filename to ensure that the chapters are played in proper order.
  4. For any questions of inquiries, you may E-mail my son,, or get in touch with me via Facebook