eK! is electronic Kabalen (eksite.com), a web-exclusive Kapampangan journal of ideas

abel d soto
abel soto (Story)

Story is one of, if not the most, powerful literary means available to man that helps to enable him to fulfill his basic mission to inform, to form, and to transform the society where he lives. Its power is undeniably effective; even Christ Himself used story as a means to illustrate humanity's salvation from eternal damnation. It is from this light that we can frame the enlightening conclusion that history without a story is a history with a hollow identity. History, indeed, relies greatly on the power of story to creatively flesh out the substantial and meaningful information that shape nations and their citizenry.

There is more than one way of looking at things, in the same manner that there are three sides of every story. This is the main frame of mind we can use in studying and looking at history: to look at it beyond and not simply at peripheral coating of dates, names, places, etc. It would be a hollow attempt for any student and teacher of history to confine his perspective to the historical facts without uncovering the historical meaning of the facts that a certain historical event would offer to the lives breathing in a history class.


Kailangan natin ang tunay na pagtitiwala muli sa bisa at kapangyarihan ng kasaysayan upang ating matutunan ang mga bagay na maaaring hindi maituro ng kasalukuyan.

Ang kasaysayan ay kung sino tayo; ito ang nagbibigay sa atin ng pagkakakilanlan bilang isang mamamayan at bilang isang bayan. Maraming mga bagay ang hindi maaaring maituro sa atin ng kasalukuyan sapagkat nananalig ito sa talino at kabuluhan ng nakalipas sa pagbibigay ng linaw at tunguhin sa hinaharap o kinabukasan. Ito ang matalinong dahilan kung bakit kailangang patuloy tayong dapat manalig at magtiwala sa bisa at kapangyarihan ng kasaysayan, na patuloy na magtuturo sa atin ng mga dapat nating matutunan kung palagi lamang tayong bukas at handang makinig sa tinig nito.


History is the bedrock of any enlightened society, of any enlightened nation and its citizenry. It is history that provides the strong and significant thread that connects and interconnects the three eras of any strong nation, without trampling on the sanctity of two eras: the present and the future . Nowness is also history waiting to happen; it is the tunnel and the sacred vessel where the past and the present continually see each other as an important element and dimension of an essential world, of an essential humanity that continuously seeks to realize a better and brighter future : the history beyond history.


Any meaningful interaction will always require a balance in terms of weighing two parties' sincerity and objectivity at handling issues and problems, and of how both parties will assert their opinions impartially on an issue at hand. The most problematic aspect of interactionists is complacency and apathy to issues and problems that must be confronted urgently. (You just have to be sure that you don't create issues and problems yourself just for the sake of projecting your ego.) When people stop asking significant and intelligent questions that must be asked for reasons of clarity and transparency and moral uprightness, then that is the beginning of the end for interactionists.


In the light of research, it's not always true that the easiest way is the way you know.

Research is man's greatest ally against intellectual stagnation. The kind of research a man chooses to delve into reveals, to a certain extent, the kind of personality he possesses.

When one researches, one emerges; however, what one has decided to research on will not exactly lead to where one expects to emerge.

Intelligent questions are the building blocks of substantial and meaningful research, and the kind and quality of questions a person asks reveal a great deal about his character.

Science is not perfect, as much as man isn't as well; it merely tries to look for and investigate imperfections from which to proceed towards something better. Research compels man to learn, relearn, and, sometimes, even to unlearn for the sake of personal and professional growth, and for the preservation and development of the quality of human life.

Oftentimes, the more you project that you know a lot, the more you appear that you know so little.


Winston Churchill said, "Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public."

I hope you will always remember the last phase about writing. A good writer would always have to be cautious of his monstrous quality that he could possibly bring into his writings. And that, if s/he has to kill or temper the monster within him, then s/he should have no qualms of doing so before the monster kills him/her first.

Remember, too, that as writers, people begin to know who you really are after they have long forgotten your name.

(The Blind Side)

I believe there is always a blind side to everything. Humanity just needs to see to see. It is every man's obligation to allow his blind side to work in order for him to justify and validate his existence and, more so, that of the others' as well. Making the blind side work in one's life would require passion and tremendous patience and effort, so it is not going to be an easy task. But it could be done! Believe me, it could be done! It is in making the blind side work that we would be able to unleash a lot of colossal capabilities in people, regardless of who, how, where, and what they are. Making the blind side work would make more humans capable of truly loving others as they are. Making the blind side work would politically correct the dirtiest game in the world mankind has ever known: politics. Making the blind side work would even end the many wars that man has been continually waging since time immemorial. Making the blind side work would restore, if not at least strengthen, the moral fiber in humanity that has been repeatedly eroded by the so-called fourth estate (mass media), the government, or even the great many religious denominations, as well as the school (the student's "second home").

It is also this blind side that compels us all not to let schooling interfere with our education, and to see everything in our academic endeavor as preparation for a life that awaits us beyond the classroom.

[About the author. Abel D. Soto took up his certificatory double major course in Creative Writing and Performing Arts at Centre for Arts Foundation, Inc. in Quezon City. He also finished the Managing the Arts Program at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City. He is a resident of Bacolor, Pampanga.]

-Posted: 10:22 AM 5/13/10 | More of this author on eK!