Category Archives: Cuando Cierras Your Eyes (2013)

“En Mi Viejo San Juan” – lyrics

Lyrics to En Mi Viejo San Juan :

En mi viejo San Juan
Cuantos sueños forjé
En mis noches de infancia
Mi primera ilusión
Y mis quitas de amor
Son recuerdos del alma

Una tarde me fui
Así a extraña nación
Pues lo quiso el destino
Pero mi corazón
Se quedó frente al mar
En mi viejo San Juan

Never Lose Faith (Blanca)

Never Lose Faith (Blanca Salva)

I want my daughters and all women to never lose faith. A woman I know told me about an argument with her mother regarding her lack of respect to their Catholic faith. The daughter was adamant that her mother couldn’t understand her questioning their faith. In the midst of this discussion, her mother said Yo se lo que es a dudar su fe, I know what it is to struggle with faith because I lived it. Her mother began to tell her that when she was 17 years old her parents made her go to convent because she wanted to go to college but in her days girls were to get married and start a family but since there were no suitors that were acceptable to her parents they decided to send her to a convent. Unfortunately that convent was in Cuba, world renowned and highly respected, an unbeknownst to the world, it was also Battista’s private torture castle. That meant that she would have to leave her family, her isla bonita and friends behind and go to new country where there was no one there that she knew but because she was a faithful child to her parents and faithful to her church she listened and left

Unfortunately she was sent to convent that had very questionable things going on while she was at the convent all of her letters to and from her family were taken she was told that she had to obey your every command that her mother Superior made to her.

Every day she would say her prayers in Spanish the Our Father and the Hail Marys. Every day she would be punished whipped with sticks or olive branches. Every day that she didn’t eat the three pound loaf of bread with the large bowl of soup she would be whipped and punished and starved and not given food for the entire day. Every time she question why a soldier would walk in with these young women some very young some small children some pregnant and she would hear their screams and question why are these children screaming and crying and why don’t we ever see them? She would be punished. There were many a nights that she spent on a cold cement slab floor with nothing on, no blanket, no lights, nothing to keep her warm but the memories of her home and her family. There were many times where she was made to scrub the floors with just a small toothbrush until her knuckles bled and many many times she had to kneel on grains of rice with her hands above her head up to the sky asking God for forgiveness for hours on end until her knees bled and the rice beneath her knees turn red from her blood. This continues for years and for years she felt she was losing herself getting weaker and weaker by the moment but she kept on praying she kept on believing that God has a purpose for her and she would not allow these individuals to take her love of God away. She felt very sick and asked the mother Superior if she could be seen by a doctor but because she was a female and a nun she was not allowed to be examined by any man for any reason so she was punished because they said if she had enough faith she would be cured they made her work with leprosy outcasts, with the poorest of the poor and she enjoyed it because she knew what it felt like to be punished to feel alone hungry cold and unwanted. And there amongst these people, she felt God’s love and her faith strength.

She never gave up believing in God or her faith.  One day her brother who’d been away at war came home and asked his parents about his sister, they told him how they sent her to the convent but hadn’t heard or seen or received any news of her since she left. He petitioned the Cuban government to visit his. Sister but he was only allowed to see her from outside the convent gates. He didn’t recognize the frail woman walking towards the gate, his eyes welded up with tears when he realized it was his baby sister, how she aged, how thin and frail she looked almost like a skeleton, he fought back tears but the tears burned his cheeks as she revealed the torturous life she has endured, how she had been sick for over a year and was not allowed to see a doctor. Her brother got her out of the convent and as they left she told him how she still kept herself obedient and true to her faith, she forgave her torturers because it gave her poder/strength, y un fe eternal and someday if she ever married and had children she will tell them her story, if they ever doubted what it means to have Faith.

Don’t Forget Your Pride (Rafy)

Don’t forget your pride. (Rafael Rivera)

Don’t forget your pride. That’s what I want to tell the living.

I will tell you now, I was a Nationalistico. I fought for the liberty of Puerto Rico as a sovereign state. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I was misguided. But I fought, because I loved my country. I loved my people. And I was ready to stand up for what I believed in.

But I was also afraid. This was a dangerous time with secret meetings in the basement of my house, late at night. I would rally the people: Libertad Puerto Rico (add some more words here). Viva Libertad Puerto Rico. “Stand up together” I would say. Take action!

What I didn’t know was that my daughters 7 and 9 years old, every night they would sneak out of their beds to come listen to our meetings. They were becoming Nationalisticas… they would say to each other… “we need to stand up for Puerto Rico.”

One day they were on their way home to school. They began to chant all the slogans and they decide to have their own little revolución. You know what I’m saying. They ran into a grocery store and these two little girls began shouting and shouting: “Viva Libertad Puerto Rico, Viva Viva!” And then they began throwing everything off the shelves and screaming.

Luckily I knew the owner so he didn’t call the police. He called me and I paid him for everything they broke. I was lucky, because in those days, this was very dangerous. And I was so angry and afraid. I yelled at those two girls. And I remember their confused look and tears in their eyes. What I couldn’t tell them then, what I never told them… was how proud I was. I was so proud of them for standing up, proud of their love for their country and for me.

Maria and Yvelis, if you can hear me… your father is proud. I am so proud of you.

Heart of Stone (Pablo)

Heart of Stone (Pablo Santiago)

I want to tell the world… I want to tell my grandsons… keep your heart open.

When I was a boy… I have to tell you this… when I was a boy, my father used to beat us. Me, my brother, and my mother. It was bad. I learned to never cry. I was just a little boy, 8 years old, but no matter what happened, not a tear in my eye. Never.

One day when my brother and I got a little older…we came home from school, and my mom… she was in bad shape. We started to go a little crazy. Like animals. We went into the street, filled with rage. And we waited until dark at the side of the road that our father always walked on his way home. And when he came… it was very dark… when he came… we jumped out. And tried to beat him. He saw us—he knew who we were—he pulled out his knife and went to kill my older brother… but he slipped…. it was like a miracle… like god knocking him down… he slipped and fell to the ground.

And we went crazy, really crazy now, and we took the knife and started stabbing him for everything he had done to us and to our mother… and my brother cut open his chest and pulled out his heart. There was a plastic bag nearby and he shoved the heart inside and we began to throw it back and forth… like kids playing ball.

At some moment, I opened the bag to look inside. I couldn’t believe what I saw. There was no heart inside….not a human heart… this heart was stone, his heart had turned to stone.

And when I saw this… I dropped the bag and ran… and for the first time that I could remember I began to cry, like the child I was vulnerable and raw. I knew then… I knew… I must never allow my heart to turn to stone. I had to break the cycle. I had to change everything… I had to open my heart. So that this kind of abuse would never happen again, not in my family.

I went through a lot after that. I been through a lot. But my heart, is not a stone.

I took on life and overcame. These are some of the words I have to say to you…

I want to cry at this morning, not because I am sad but because of life and how hard it is, everything that I learn and everything I don’t. Everyone I loved, and those I don’t love. Everything… all the effort I made…maybe it was never enough, but I did something something. You can overcome and be something.
And for me, my life is a pandera, a tambourine, I am playing it, for me I can tell you this… … for all he made me go through, for all I have been through, I stand before you, even in death, as a man, a real man right now, I am a father, my sons live, and they felt my love. My heart is not stone… my heart is not a stone.