Saturday, January 17, 2009


Did you know that 11 mothers die daily from childbirth in the Philippines?
Was it because we Filipinos focused on providing basic health care to children to a fault?
The United States-based independent global humanitarian organization Save the Children ranked us first among 55 developing countries in terms of giving, say, prenatal care, skilled care at childbirth, immunizations, and treatment for diarrhea and pneumonia. They added that “the Philippines is making good progress in improving health care for children and has achieved a 48% reduction in its under-5 death rate since 1990.”
Their Mother's Index, highlighting its State of the World's Mothers 2008 report, put us on top of its basic health care report card.
Because “in terms of newborn mortality rates, the Philippines has one of the lowest in the developing world with an average of 15 out of 1,000 live births.”
Next to us is Peru, followed by South Africa, and then, there is a tie between Indonesia and Turkmenistan.
We are one of the 55 countries accounted for “nearly 60 % of the world’s under-5 population and 83 % of all child deaths worldwide.”However, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand and Denmark had a league of their own. They made it to the Top 5 when Save the Children also ranked 146 countries for how good they are for mothers and children.
Though it was shocking to find out that the United States, was a notch lower than its ranking last year, at 27th place, it is not our problem.
Ours is that we got into a negligible spot.
As usual?
What about our Nanays?
According to UNICEF’s latest The State of the World’s Children report, released four days ago: “Women in the world’s least developed countries are 300 times more likely to die in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications than women in developed countries.”
Moreover, a Filipino baby is almost 14 times more likely to die during the first month of life than his or her counterpart elsewhere in Dildo, for instance, in Newfoundland, Canada.
“Every year, more than half a million women die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth complications, including about 70,000 girls and young women aged 15 to 19,” said Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director, at the Johannesburg launch. “Since 1990, complications related to pregnancy and childbirth have killed an estimated 10 million women.”
Are we truly incapable of providing life-saving interventions like post-natal visits, proper hygiene, and counseling about the danger signs of maternal and newborn health?
Ironic for us, indeed, coming from a country of caregivers?
Was it due to the plain and simple fact that we still belong, then as now, to the so-called Third World?
Where having a child remains among the most serious health risks for women?
Where fertility rates are high?
Where there is a shortage of trained personnel and weak health systems spell tragedy for many young women?
Which is why the Philippines is among 68 countries which contribute to 97% of maternal, neonatal, and child health deaths worldwide and about half of the deaths of Filipino children under five happen in the first 28 days of life?
In Making It Safe For Our Mothers Without Delay, Nilo Yacat interviewed Dr. Ruben Flores, whose team works like a 24-hour factory of infants. The said Fabella Memorial Hospital chief sighed: “Too many women are giving birth but what is alarming is that both early and late pregnancies are increasing.”
If even in the City of Man – Manila -- a medical team struggles to attend to an average of 200 deliveries a day, what can we expect from such far-flung areas as Agusan del Sur, where roughly 220 women for every 100,000 live births die every year? Out there in a landlocked province in the Caraga region in Mindanao (whose capital is Prosperidad) -- three out of five women give birth at home and mostly assisted by a traditional birth attendant who may fail to recognize complications of pregnancy and labor.
Everywhere, it is mostly in urban areas where you can find health facilities with quality basic and comprehensive emergency care services for pregnant women.
Researches showed that the lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 140.
Meaning, around 11 Filipino mothers die everyday or an estimated 4,500 every year due: obstructed labour (8%); eclampsia or related hypertensive disorders (12 %); unsafe abortion (13 %); infections (15%); and hemorrhage (25%).
Speaking of blood loss, we almost lost our Light, when our panganay was in the delivery room. Our baby was supposed to be named “Parikala” (or “Irony”) but everything changed when her mom, Ina, had a bad bleeding for more than two hours. During that time, she had managed to go back to her childhood (at the wake of her own Nanang when she was 10 years old) as well as to her hometown in Candon (where she saw her Tiang Thelma who just died waiting for her behind a dining table).
While she was floating all over the place without seeing her own body, she constantly recited PSALM 100 in her mind.
When she was about to return to what she recognized as a High Way where she came from, she regained her consciousness.
Right then and there, we decided to baptize our firstborn “Psalma Sigla.”
Inspired by the biblical poetry of gratitude, we eventually called our kids: Wika (or Proverb), Awit (or Song), and then, our first and only prose, Sulat (or Epistle).
Indebted we are to her savior, Dr. Mila Zaragoza-Ibay, who offered her lifesaving emergency obstetric services!
UNICEF, after 11 years, would address those three types of delays that lead to maternal deaths: (a) a delay in the decision to seek medical attention; (b) a delay in reaching a health care facility; (c ) a delay in receiving care once present at the facility.
Thanks, by the way, to our Mama's doctor who helped her in giving birth to her unico hijo!
Exactly 45 years ago today.
A famous German evangelist was invited to speak at a worship assembly.
GERMAN: When you introduce me, please don't mention my positions or titles. Just tell
them that I am a shepherd or something like that.
EMCEE: Brothers and sisters, may I introduce to you our speaker for tonight.
A German shepherd.
One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live . They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family . On their return from their trip, the father asked his son “ How was the trip ?” “It was great , Dad.” “Did you see how poor people live ? ' the father asked. “Oh yeah ,” said the son. “So , tell me , what did you learn from the trip ?”asked the father. The son answered : “I saw that we have one dog and they had four . We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end . We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon . We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight . We have servants who serve us, but they serve others . We buy our food , but they grow theirs . We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.” The boy's father was speechless. Then his son added,”Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are!”

Monday, January 12, 2009


Unforgettable was March 18, 2008 not only it was our Mama's 79th birthday.
But also it was our first meeting with the National Book Development Board's Mommie Dearest -- Atty. Andrea Pasion Flores – who sealed the deal, formally, in her newly- inaugurated queendom.
Figuratively and otherwise, we met halfway -- within the National Printing Office Building at the corner of Edsa and NIA Northside Road in Diliman -- when Mike Coroza arrived not-so early from Ateneo de Manila University and Beverly Siy from University of Santo Tomas, both Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas Board members, to witnesss how the former's dream showed vital signs for our UMPIL Education Committee commited to educate, entertain, and enlighten youngsters about Philippine literature via a campus tour of Filipino authors.
Thus, UNLAK -- or UMPIL-NBDB Lakbay-Awtor para sa Kabataan -- was born.
Again, actually.
Yes, because already there was a test drive of sorts, when we brought National Artist -- Virgilio Almario -- to Taguig City last March 7, two days before his birthday, at the Maria Asuncion Tiñga High School, where Mike's wife, Jeanette, is the incumbent principal!
Well, to some extent, that was sure-fire formula.
A month before that, during the Philippine Arts Festival, our National Commission for Culture and the Arts and University of the Philippines Likhaan's Pagpupugay sa mga Pambansang Alagad ng Sining team took Rio Alma to a jampacked UP-Iloilo campus crowd who listened to his lecture and watched young ones perform his poetry.
For UNLAK, we added another component: an exhibit of the featured author's photos, books, trophies, and others in every school library.
However, what we considered to be the first leg of UNLAK was last June 27 when the former AdMU School of Humanities dean -- Prof. Benilda Santos -- visited Maria Concepcion Cruz High School in Pateros.
Memorable were her talk and the intermission number when male students gave their interpretations of her female personae in her poems to the delight of a gymful of newfound fans led by Mr. Gil Teodoro.Another feminine, or feminist perspective, was explored when our beloved jet-set poet -- Dr. Marjorie Evasco -- former De La Salle University's Bienvenido Santos Creative Writing Center director, agreed to enchant – through her powerful presence and her powerpoint presentation -- her kababayans like Mr. Job Zape Jr. and the rest of Mandaluyong City Science High School last July 25.
August saw us so preoccupied with 34th UMPIL Congress.
September was for Pistang Panitik.
And October was both for semestral end and break.
UNLAK got lucky once more for having another National Artist the following semester, when -- Francisco Sionil Jose -- came to Makati City, saw his kaapelyido in Ms. Corazon Jose, and conquered Bangkal High School last November 7.
Right then and there, we admitted, before his avid admirers, his wife Tess included, that his case was the rationale behind all these efforts to popularize Filipino writers and writings.As early as 2007, during the aforementioned tribute to the five living National Artists for Literature, we re-visited Rosales, Pangasinan with him and we realized that he himself was a famous unknown in his own birthplace – which he tried to immortalize in his novels -- which were translated into more than 30 languages all over the world.
In other words, we extended UNLAK, literally “to give chance” in Filipino, to future National Artists!
The juniors and seniors of San Joaquin High School in Pasig City was fortunate, too, for they had last November 28 the Critic at large not the Justice -- Dr. Isagani Cruz -- president of Wika ng Kultura at Agham Inc. -- who in his stand-up dramedy act related his angry and hungry years before he became a versatile man of letters and numbers that he is.
Two Mondays from now, on January 26, at 3 p.m. as usual, Pateros National High School will get to know more, maybe by singing some of his Salin-awit songs, about its long lost son in poet/journalist/scriptwriter/translator -- Jose Lacaba -- whose grandmother was a Pateros Elementary School teacher like his mom who used to teach at the Pasig Catholic School where he graduated.
Next month, will be the turn of UP's University Professor Emeritus – Dr. Gemino Abad -- probably to promote his two-volume anthology Upon Our Own Ground: Filipino Short Stories in English 1956-1972, among others, at the San Juan National High School, care of Mrs. Paz Depaudhon and Councilor Dante Santiago of San Juan City.
March expects another National Artist – Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera -- to share himself and his Compact Disc recording of his poetry Poetika/Politika: Tinipong Mga Tula, initially, in Metro Manila.
Perhaps, by then, we can get more support from publishers by way of booksales affordable to public high school students?
Or from public officials via donations, in cash or in kind?
NBDB's Dianne Mendoza and Glen Malimban, to name a few, had been very instrumental in making everything possible while Samuel “Bong” Versoza was influential in venue-hunting, ceaselessly, an extra effort exerted by an Executive Assistant to the NBDB Chair – Dr. Dennis Gonzalez -- like him.
Thankless job, nevertheless, we have no reason to lock UNLAK.
Especially, now that one great thing is leading to another.
In fact, Councilor Rica Tiñga, for instance, promised to sponsor a series of creative writing workshops for teachers and students from the city of Taguig within 2009.
Who says Year of Ox is unlucky for UNLAK?
So if want to invite UMPIL into your school, kindly contact our controversial webmaster Philip Kimpo Jr. at
Keep our communication lines open, feel free to email us at
SINNER: Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I often send dirty jokes and sex videos through my cell phone.
FATHER: My child, please forward your sins to me.
Do not ask the Lord to guide your steps if you are not willing to move your feet.

ENVIABLE ENVERGA (January 05, 2009)

New year marks the 100th birthday of Manuel S. Enverga Jr..

A descendant of Jose Ma. Panganiban, he would be credited for organizing the Philippine Coconut Administration -- now the Philippine Coconut Authority. He is also best known for campaigning vigorously to change the celebration of Philippine Independence Day from July 4 to June 12 and to open new trade markets for the Philippines through his one-man study and economic mission to socialist countries in Central Europe culminating in the Enverga Report.

Born in Mauban, Quezon where he studied until in his second year in high school before transferring to National University, he pursued his dream of becoming a violinist at the University of the Philippines Conservatory of Music under Dr. Alexander Lippay, his Austrian teacher who included him in the Philippine Symphony Orchestra. Eventually he entered the Philippine Law School while playing for orchestras and teaching violin lessons. After graduation and bar examination, he served as an assistant attorney to an abogado de campanilla, Don
Alfredo Chicote, while studying Foreign Service in the U.P.

He got married at 31 to Rosario Lopez and, after a year, he became a father.
Maximo Kalaw, his law partner, became one of his co-founders of the Central College of the Philippines in Ermita, Manila that eventually was closed in 1941 when World War II broke. He resumed his law practice, ran the Philippine Academy of Foreign Affairs as its president, represented the country in international conferences where he met Mahatma Gandhi, Lakshmi Pandit, and Jawaharlal Nehru, and returned to the Philippines fired up by patriotism. Upon earning his Master of Laws degree at the University of Santo Tomas with the highest honors, he put up on February 11, 1947 the Luzonian Colleges, which would be converted into a foundation by February 12, 1970.
Atty. Enverga would be elected to the United Nations Association of the Philippines Board of Directors where he met his old law professor, Rev. Fr. Aniceto Castañon, who recommended him to be a scholar for a doctorate in law at the Universidad Central de Madrid whose alumni were Jose Rizal, Juan Luna, Antonio Luna, Pedro Paterno, and other Filipino ilustrados. His 700 plus-page thesis on the New Civil Code of the Philippines got a grade of sobresaliente premio extraordinario upon his graduation in in August 1950. As if rewarding himself, he travelled around Europe and the United States.
But, by 1952, he would be bitten by the political bug.
Dr. Enverga was first elected to Congress in 1953 to represent the first district of Quezon which he served up to 1968.
Indeed, his ideas were so ahead of his time that Manila Times columnist J. V. Cruz could he help but comment on his brave views: “No doubt Congressman Enverga knows better than anyone else how much he has thereby exposed himself to the incoherent indignation and tantrums of the anticommunist lunatic fringe, and how unlikely it is for his views to be officially accepted and adopted in the near future. But obviously, he must rather be right than popular, and certainly he has no wish to be one of the unthinking mob. And this is what distinguishes the statesman from the cheap politician.”
Congressman Enverga worked for the Filipinization of the educational system and the mass media, the nationalization of the retail trade, and the change of the Philippine emblem or escudo to remove the American eagle and the Spanish lion which are symbols of the country’s subservience to foreigners.
He even attempted to implement the constitutional mandate requiring the evolution of a national language based on Tagalog in a bill creating the Akademia ng Wika or a measure that sought to divide the country into eight linguistic groups: the Maranaw dialect in Mindanao; Hiligaynon for the Visayas, Bikolano for the Bicol area; Ilocano for the Ilocos; Cebuano for Cebu; and other minority dialects. Under this bill, regional offices under linguistic experts headed by a superintendent would be established in the respective areas mentioned that would study, collect and introduce words coming from the various regions that would enrich the national language. After a certain period of study and research, part of the plan was to come up with a new dictionary. The bill died due to the opposition of many congressmen who had their own language agenda and who preferred English to be the national language.
Sounds familiar?
Aside from receiving the Diploma of Honor from the Institute of National Language and the Filipino Federation of Retailers, Dr. Enverga was cited Outstanding Congressman by leading publications El Debate, Manila Chronicle, Bagong Buhay, Philippines Herald, Congressional World, Semana, Congressional Bulletin, Evening News, The Parliamentarian, Graphic, Philippines Review, and Philippines Free Press and by the International Historical Foundation.
A year after his death on June 14, 1981, the Luzonian University Foundation Board of Trustees voted unanimously to rename the institution as Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation (MSEUF).
Now, MSEUF is the first to be accredited Level 3 as well as one of the first higher education institutions in Southern Luzon to be deregulated -- within 200 hectares of land in Barangay Ibabang Dupay in Lucena City with affiliate schools in San Antonio, Sampaloc, Catanauan, and Candelaria, Quezon.
Last year, the National Historical Institute has approved the installation of a historical marker in honor of Dr. Manuel S. Enverga (1909-1981).
Recently, the Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation, represented by president Naila Enverga-Leveriza, and the Philippine Postal Corporation, represented by Chief Executive Officer Hector Villanueva, for the latter to issue a commemorative stamp in honor of the birth centennial anniversary of Dr. Manuel S. Enverga on January 1, 2009.
Sometimes, you have to wait for a lifetime to be recognized.
That's why, carpe diem, Mrs. Elena Almario of Bataan National High School, who was named 2008 Outstanding Department Head by the City of Balanga.
And kudos to Mr. James Pagaduan for winning the elections as the National President of Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers!
Name 5 wealthiest people, 7 Oscar winners, 10 American presidents.
Hard? The point is, none of us, none of us remembers the headliners of yesterday, simply because the applause dies and awards are forgotten.
Here’s another quiz:
Name 3 teachers who taught you well, 3 friends who stood by you, 5 people who made you special.
Easier? Because those who make a difference in your life are not those with the most money, credentials, or awards.
There are other ones who truly can.
Two of the hardest tests in life:
the patience to wait for the right moment;
and the courage to accept whatever you encounter.


Tomorrow night at 6 there will be a one-day suspension of artistic offensives. According to Artists Arrest, this is some kind of planetry conjunction, like when Sen. Mar Roxas' P.I. (not necessarily Philippine Islands) during the anti-Chacha rally in Makati City. Mark your December 30 as the day for a Big Bang! at the Lunduyan Art Gallery at 88-B Kamuning Road in Quezon City.
Last Friday, a teacher, a lawyer, and seven activists made it to the Bantayog ng mga Bayani (Monument of Heroes) in an occasion traditionally held on Nov. 30, Bonifacio Day, or December 10, International Human Rights Day. Nemesio Prudente, Sedfrey Ordoñez, Lucio de Guzman, Catalino Blas, Alfredo Jasul, Bayani Lontok, Pastor Mesina and couple Alex Torres and Nimfa del Rosario were included in the 173 names immortalized on the black Wall of Remembrance beside an Ed Castrillo bronze monument – as if Michelangelo's Pieta with Mary as Inang Bayan and Jesus as “the nation’s modern-day martyrs and heroes who fought against all odds to help regain freedom, peace, justice, truth and democracy in the country.”

Earlier, on November 29, the University of the Philippines President Emerlinda Roman led others in honoring 72 Bantayog martyrs and heroes who were former U.P. students, alumni, and faculty as part of the the National Heroes Day at the same time part of the U.P. Centennial celebration. Billed Paggunita at Parangal sa mga Iskolar ng Bayan sa Bantayog ng mga Bayani: A Centennial Tribute to U.P. Martyrs and Heroes -- this historic event witnessed the response of Letizia Roxas Constantino, wife of martyred U.P. hero Renato Constantino on behalf of the 72 as well as the awarding of Certificates of Recognition to the family representatives of the U.P. martyrs and heroes, floral and candle offerings, and other cultural activities. The Chosen 72 are Leandro Alejandro; Leo Alto; Emmanuel Alvarez; Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr.; Merardo Arce; Aloysius Baes; Floro Balce; Lorena Barros; Manuel Bautista; William Begg; Alexander Belone III; Catalino "Lino" Brocka; Jose Calderon; Jennifer Cariño; Cristina Catalla; Cesar Climaco; Renato Constantino; Ellecer Cortes; Edward De la Fuente; Remberto De la Paz; Nimfa del Rosario; Dennis Rolando Deveraturda; Juan Escandor; Gerardo Faustino; Enrique Voltaire Garcia; Antonio Hilario; Rizalina Ilagan; Edgar Jopson; Emmanuel Lacaba; Ma. Leticia Ladlad; Hermon Lagman; Lourdes Garduce Lagman; Vergel Landrito; Lorenzo Lansang; Edmundo Legislador; Jose Lingad; Bayani Lontok; Mariano Lopez; Armando Malay; Paula Carolina Malay; Rodelo Manaog; Pastor Mesina; Cecilia Muñoz-Palma; Sedfrey Ordoñez; Gaston Ortigas; Magnifico Osorio; Armando Palabay; Romulo Palabay; Benedicto Pasetes; Jacinto Pena; Nemesio Prudente; Eduardo Quintero; Ismael Quimpo; Arnulfo Resus; J. B. L. Reyes; Francisco Soc Rodrigo; Magtangol Roque; Jessica Sales; Abraham Sarmiento, Jr.; Antonio Tagamolila; Crispin Tagamolila; Lorenzo Tañada; Carlos Tayag; Noel Tierra; Racquel Tiglao; Alex Torres; Jose Marie Velez; Ma. Antonia Teresa Vytiaco; Emmanuel Yap; Haydee Yorac; Rizal Yuyitung; and Calixto Zaldivar.

A lot of us wondered why – aside from Ishmael Bernal -- Monico Atienza was not included. Sir Nic was the Secretary General of Kabataang Makabayan and in 2003 worked to reorganize the old street cadres from the historic First Quarter Storm marches of 1970.

During the recent 60th Human Rights Day, remembered were another 72 – the Mindoro 72 – who are all are prominent mass leaders and activists, critics of Arroyo Administration and its development projects accused of multiple murder and frustrated murder. Not to mention, the Silang 9 (abducted and tortured last August 31 in Tartaria, Cavite), Southern Tagalog 27 (accused of bombing and burning of Globe Telecom Cell site and charged with arson, destruction of properties and conspiracy to commit rebellion), and, of course, Tagaytay 5 (released after more than two years of political detention).
What about the countless victims of extra-judicial killings, the abducted and still missing, and the imprisoned due to political belief?
Like Albert Enriquez, a desaparecido even before the Edsa Revolution, whom we miss every Christmas reunion of the Quezon National High School Batch '80.
While they were all there fighting for land rights and ownership, livelihood and decent life -- there we were struggling to register at Securities and Exchange Commission our Foundation A.W.I.T. which we launched last July 10!
Why do we have to go through fixers offering their services inside the SEC building while we were on queue or filling out the wrong form or undersized paper?
All we want to do is just to keep alive the memory of our son, Awit, to mean Advancing Wellness, Instruction, and Talents.
What a price we have pay!
We had to apply for a Bureau of Internal Revenue registration -- so we can legally avail of grants and other financial resources by following up the paper trail at the crowded Revenue District Office 39 South Quezon City. One staffer assisted and asked us to leave our papeles with him and return the following day for a seminar. But since we had a class, we only made it the next Friday. Blaming us for failing to show up, he approached us while on a queue, repeating: “Titingnan ko, baka p'wede kong ipahabol ito.” He ordered us to go straight to the seventh floor for an orientation on filing taxes that same afternoon, making sure we sign the attendance, then go back to him after. Killing four hours, we came down only to be told that our “hero” was halfday. When we were asked to return the following Monday, we gathered that it was not standard procedure to leave our papeles to any RDO employee.
Monday came and we got the news that he was on leave and that we have to come back next Monday – January 5! Before we could spell N-E-W Y-E-A-R, happily, we got the answer why Philippines slipped to 133rd from 130th in the multilateral lending institution’s ranking on the ease of doing business.
Nonetheless, we silently prayed while we pressed the elevator button that would take us to the higher-up. Angelic secretary, Evangeline Baena, lent us an ear before leading us to her boss -- Atty. Alejandro T. Polca -- the Revenue District Officer. Cool Atty. Polca called the attention of Ruben Soriano, its Taxpayer Service Section head.
Whew, in less than an hour, we secured our BIR Certificate of Registration!
Atty. Polca's leadership style was so infectious as though quietly disproving the notion that in our nation there is no slow pace of reforms being instituted in the area of business regulation.
If we can only clone the said lawyer who is also a Certified Public Accountant, this country of ours can pass any World Bank criteria anytime. With Atty. Polca, do we still need Chacha?
Youtube Juana Change.
PATIENT: If I get a facelift, how do I need?DOCTOR: Complete treatment will cost you P145,000.PATIENT: Wow. How much is the cheapest way to look like a New Year?DOCTOR: Okey, here's P20. Buy a pacifier!
One day the villagers decided to pray for the rain. On the day of prayer, everyone gathered and only one boy came with an umbrella. That's faith. When you throw a one-year old baby in the air, he laughs because he knows you will catch him. That's trust. Every night we go to bed, we are not sure that we will get up tomorrow, but we still have many plans for the coming day. That's hope.

IT'S TOYM TIME! (December 22, 2008)

Hindi kami boksingerong makapagpapabagsak
Sa antas ng krimen sa kabisera raw ng kidnap.
Wala kaming alam na pag-uubusan ng lakas
Kundi ang sumuntok sa buwan ng aming pangarap.

Ngunit kaya ni PATRICK patakbuhin ang turista
Sa pinakaunang karerang Mardi Gras sa Asya.
Kaya rin ni LYNDON, na henyo sa agrikultura,
Na paluhain sa kanyang sili sina Barrera.

Kung sa halaman siya, sa hayop nagsasaliksik
Si ORVILLE na nangibambansa at saka bumalik.
Kung sa Los Baños siya, sa Maynila naman si RICK
Na tumuklas ng bagong paraan ng pagtitistis.
Kung siya ay sa puso, si ALLAN sa pagkatao
Hindi lang ng Filipino kundi ng kahit sino.
Gaya ng kanyang kaapelyidong si JAY BERNARDO,
Siya rin ay unibersal hindi lamang klasiko.
Wala ngang iniwan kay KENNETH at sa kanyang likha
Na dinadala sa langit ang sino mang humiga.
Walang ipinagkaiba sa kuwentong pambata
Ni LUIS na ang adhika ng akda ay kalinga.
Para kay JOHN, wala ni isang tulong na kaunti
Sa lupaing naipit sa gitna ng pagkasawi.
At akong ang panitikan ay walang ibang mithi
Kundi aral, aliw, at pagkabuhay na mag-uli!
Tinatanggap namin ang gawad sa ngalan ng Diyos
Na hindi lahat ng dasal namin ay sinasagot,
Sa ngalan ng bayang pilit naming pinagbubuklod
Kahit pa may ari, uri, at lahing nagbubukod.
Handog din namin ito sa aming mga kadugong
Laging kapiling sa tagumpay at sa pagkabigo.
Sa pagkakataong ito, mangyari pong tumayo
Sila ang dahilan kung bakit di kami sumuko.
Salamat po nang marami sa pamilya ng Jaycee
Sa pagpili ng inampalang pinili ay kami.
At salamat din po sa mahal nating Presidente
Na – tulad ni Pacquiao – itinuring kaming bayani!

Five years ago, we just got lucky to do the acceptance speech at the Malacañang Palace's Rizal Hall on behalf on 2003 The Outstanding Young Men: Allan Bernardo (psychology and education), Francisco Bernardo III (entrepreneurship), Kenneth Cobonpue (arts/design/entrepreneurship), Orville Bondoc (animal breeding/genetics), Luis Gatmaitan (literature), Patrick Gregorio (tourism management), John Ong (community service), Ricardo Quintos II (vascular surgery), and Lyndon Co Tan (agriculture and food technology).

Poetic lines became prophetic when, after a year, our tokayo, Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao – before becoming Pandaigdig na Kamao after demolishing the Golden Boy – won the TOYM 2004, with no less than Sharon Cuneta as his batchmate.
Last Saturday, the formal ceremony was held again at the official presidential residence, with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the Guest of Honor, to give the TOYM 2008 award to the following: Antonio Andres Alfonso (Science and Technology). Dr. Alfonso is currently the head of the Philippine Rice Research Institute’s (PhilRice) Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division. Rex Adivoso Bernardo (Community Service). Despite being stricken with polio at a very young age and having been denied the privilege of early education, Mr. Bernardo was determined to overcome his physical and psychological obstacles and eventually emerge victorious over his personal struggles. Christian Joseph Rili Cumagun (Agricultural Science). Dr. Cumagun is one of the country’s most accomplished experts in agricultural science of his generation. Kristin Karen Lising Davila (Broadcast Journalism). Ms. Davila is a news anchor and investigative journalist in ABS-CBN. Joseph Felix Mari Hotchkiss Durano (Ecological Tourism). Hon. Durano is the Department of Tourism secretary.
The Fave Five happen to be the 50th batch of honorees since the search was first launched in 1959 by Junior Chamber International Philippines (formerly Philippine Jaycees).
This year’s distinguished Board of Judges was chaired by former Philippine Ambassador to the United States, Hon. Albert del Rosario with members Alfredo Antonio (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' Monetary Board member), Ryan Cayabyab (award-winning conductor and composer), Edgardo G. Lacson (Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president), Hon. Maria Gracia Cielo M. Padaca (Isabela governor), Hon. Henrietta T. De Villa (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting president), and Gen. Alexander B. Yano (Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff).
We happened to be a part of Screening Panel chaired by Feny delos Angeles-Bautista (1993 for Social Education) with Dr. Queena Lee-Chua (1997 for Education) and, coincidentally, with some of the TOYM 2006 winners -- Michael Allen Cacnio (Sculpture), Dr. Mariella Castillo (Child Protection), Federico Hizon (Journalism), and Viviene Tan (Education) -- when we sat as a Screening Committee member too!
TOYM 2008 Search, by the way, is headed by JCI Member Ramfel Reynoso Preclaro, who was JCI Philippines’ Executive Director. He is assisted by John Joseph Gabriel Puzon, Arnold Valencia, Gemma Sapnu, Ruben Bulaong, Hilario G. Cruz II, and Soledad V. Magtuto. Atty. Mabel V. Mamba and Reginald T. Yu serve as this year’s advisers.
The TOYM Award is widely recognized as the country’s most prestigious recognition for young men and women whose selfless dedication to their field resulted to significant contributions to the country and our countrymen.
During the University of the Philippines Centennial Lantern Parade last December 17 we were on the side of the planet, hosting with our TOYM 2003 co-winner for Literature, Doc Luis, the launch of Ani 34, the annual literary anthology of the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Literary Arts Division. Focusing on the theme “Spirituality and Healing”, the book includes prose and poetry of Kris Alingod, Mark Angeles, Lilia Antonio, Mae Aquino, Carlos Arejola, Edgar Bacong, Isabela Banzon, Janet Tauro Batuigas, Gil Beltran, Herminio Beltran Jr., Kristoffer Berse, Jaime Jesus Borlagdan, Nazzer Briguera, Catherine Candano, Desiree Caluza, Nonon Carandang, Dexter Cayanes, Jason Chancoco, Joey Stephanie Chua, Kristian Cordero, Genaro Gojo Cruz, Mario Cuezon, Maureen dela Cruz, Rodrigo dela Peña, Jr., U Eliserio, Dennis Espada, Filipino Estacio, Rogerick Fernandez, Raul Funilas, Nena Gajudo-Fernandez, Jeneen Garcia, Luis Gatmaitan, Fernando Gonzalez, Erwin Lareza, Jeffrey Lubang, Nestor Lucena, Melba Padilla Maggay, Perry Mangilaya, Noahlyn Maranan, Francisco Monteseña, Ursula Nelson, Wilhelmina Orozco, Chuckberry Pascual, Noel Pinggoy, Dinah Roma-Sianturi, Hope Sabanpan-Yu, Joseph Salazar, Romel Samson, Aida Santos, Rakki Sison-Buban, Beverly Siy, Jason Genio Tabinas, Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr., Vincent Lester Tan, Dolores Taylan, Enrico Torralba, Gerardo Torres, Joel Vega, Gina Verdolaga, Santiago Villafania, Ana Maria Yugalca, and Manuel Zacarias. For inquiries on the next issue of Ani, which will delve on the experiences of the Filipinos in general and the Filipino writer in particular as members of the Asian community, please send an e-mail to or contact Betty Uy-Regala at 0906-2604175; 832-1125 local 1706.


Now that San Miguel has bought into Meralco the power company shall be known as San Mig Light. San Miguel also bought 40% of Petron, are they coming up with Diet Blaze and Unleaded Pilsen?
A Fableman browsing in a store got shocked to see God selling.
He asked: “Lord, what are You selling?” God said: “Whatever your heart desires!” So the man answered: “I want peace of mind, happiness, and freedom from fear for me and the whole world.” God replied, smiling: “I don't sell fruits here. Only seeds!”

OUR SON, OUR SONG (December 15, 2008)

Last All Souls Day, we weaned Awit, or Victor Emmanuel Carmelo Nadera III, our advance party, forever.

His white “Manunggul jar” (with his death mask created by sculptors Nonoy Gepte and Tata Funilas at the Arlington Memorial Chapel) was cemented atop our Papa's tomb at the Tayabas Catholic Cemetery which our Mama beautified when she was our hometown's health officer.
It was our cousin Ferdie's brainchild, who came all the way from Kuwait, but with the blessings from his lolas – Rosario Rodillas and Fely Oliveros!

Everything went on smoothly as this Live Journal entry his Ina wrote four years ago: “After Psalma (Psalms) and Wika (Proverbs) came my son Awit, named after Song of Songs. Ironically, he has hearing impairment. But God has always been good to us and has never failed in making miracles in our lives. On January 19, my husband Vim's 40th birthday, we declared that Awit shall make wonderful music and sing praises to the Lord. Awit also has Global Developmental Delay. At two and a half years, he still cannot talk. He is rather clumsy, finds it difficult to balance himself while walking, cannot jump, and just starting to learn how to run and climb the stairs. Frequently sick since five months old, he would have seizures even with low grade fever. His condition required several laboratory tests and therapy sessions. Despite the disability and illness, and the discomforts of undergoing laboratory tests, Awit is never fuzzy, never a difficult child. Even when sick, he'd smile or simply hug you when not feeling well. He's so loving. His smile brightens every day. He brings joy to everyone he meets. His teacher once remarked “Awit’s sweet smile is enough to melt anybody’s heart. Being with him makes one appreciate the simplicity and beauty of life.” U.P. C.D.C. once considered him “the class teddy bear.” Last December 7, during the U.P. Likhaan exhibit opening, upon hearing the Kontra-Gapi music, he went near them. Without any prodding, he clapped, smiling from ear to ear. He later picked two drumsticks and started to play with the them to the beat. Indeed, he's a constant reminder of hope, love, and simplicity the very message Christmas brings. Awit is our Christmas Star.”
That piece was supposedly for Unang Hirit’s Star ng Christmas Ko.
However, God had other plan.
Awit was rushed to the Philippine Children's Medical Center, without our knowledge. Our first and second College of Arts and Letters's Faculty Follies must go on while Awit was confined.
Two years ago, we were all set for the third -- even when typhoon Reming got us stranded in Naga with Cultural Center of the Philippines' Outreach team partnering with the UNICEF's Art Therapy for Teachers caught in crossfire. Upon our arrival, Awit was all dressed up and Jollibee-ready. He's in bad shape the following day, so was left with Three Queens at home namely Grandma, Granny, and Manang Sianang while the rest of the family watched Dora The Explorer in Glorietta after the Word for the World Sunday service.
The following Monday looked like a regular visit to Dr. Cristan Cabanilla and Dr. Jose Robles at the PCMC.
When he was turned over to its Intensive Care Unit, 'twas in the winter cold.
We as watchers experienced the squatters' life just to be with him for 10 days.
December 13 saw him meet his Maker – 12 days before Christmas!
For five nights, with no partridge in a pear tree whatsoever, during Awit's wake, we survived literally and literarily, by hosting poetry readings, storytellings, and sharings in a room we transformed into a moveable feast!
Ventriloquist Ony Carcamo reportedly shocked his host, Sharon Cuneta, when he told her he's in a hurry because his next gig was in a funeral parlor.
The first day was quite memorable – it was the very first time in the U.P. history when there's no Lantern Parade – so our friends marched towards Araneta Avenue instead.
Once more, Blogotherapy, worked for Ina, a Solid Sharonian: “It’s almost 48 hours since our Awit’s demise on December 13, 2006, 11:20 a.m. at the P.C.M.C.'s I.C.U. I asked for a miracle.
God delivered him from pain. God granted him eternal comfort, peace, happiness in heaven. God purged our soul of any hindrance towards the understanding of His purpose. Today, I cried in anguish and despair over the loss of Awit. But God, faithful as He is, assured me of His love. Vim encouraged me to write about Awit’s death.”
Talking about the therapeutic uses of expression, Faculty Follies will be staged again at the U.P. Theater today! What was originally C.A.L.-wide is now Diliman-wide. Billed Hagikhikan 2008: The Boldabil Challenge, this two-hour spectacle will showcase faculty members from the Asian Institute of Tourism as well as the colleges of Architecture, Engineering, Mass Communication, and Music. A project of the Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts for the Office of the
Chancellor, it has two performances: a matinee at 3 pm and a gala at 7 pm.
Indeed, art is the answer as to how and why we weathered all those storms!
In fact, to heal our wounds, we turned to Cynthia Alexander's version of Kay Laya (which we wrote with Teta Tulay like Kabaka). Speaking of our savior, Cynthia recently celebrated her 10 years of songwriting via a live recording of her Walk Down the Road album. She first gained recognition with the rock group Hayp, for which she won the Best Bass Player Award at the 1989 World Band Explosion in Tokyo. Her first, Insomnia and Other Lullabyes (1997) won accolades, and the independently produced Rippingyarns (2000) swept the 2001 Katha Music Awards as she took home Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Best Alternative Music Album, Best Album Design, and Song of the Year, for “Intertwyne.” She was honored as the first Female Icon at the NU 107 Rock Awards in 2004, and the release of Comet’s Tail in 2005 garnered her awards for Best Guitarist and Producer of the Year (with Angee Rozul). Interested parties may contact Conspiracy Garden Cafe at #4532170.
Conspi had its 5th anniversary blowout with Cynthia's big bro Joey Ayala, Gary Granada, Jess Santiago, among others, last December 12, simultaneously with the free concert during the launch of the 12-track Huling Lagapak ng Kandado highlighting Axel Pinpin's poetry set to the music of Bobby Balingit.

A bicycle cannot stand on its own because it two-tired.
If you open it, close it.
If you turn it on, turn it off.
If you break it, admit it.
If you value it, take care of it.
If you make a mess, clean it up.
If it is none of your business, don't ask.
If it ain't broken, don't fix it.
If it will brighten someone's day, say it.
If it will tarnish someone's reputation, just keep it to yourself.
If it makes you happy, go.

CORRUPTIONARY (December 08, 2008)

Commemorating the International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9, the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) and the National Commission for Culture and Arts, ConFest will begin today, until tomorrow, at the University Hotel, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

This cultural Innovation for good governance conference is a national study too.
And it revolves around the innovative cultural tool for good governance – Corruptionary (2008) -- the only dictionary of corruption words in the world!
Day 1 of this confab cum festival will open at 8 a.m. with no less than Chief Justice Reynato Puno as special guest, who will clarify the evolving countercultural consciousness against corruption and cut the ribbon for an exhibit.
Plenary forum entitled Why Words Matter? will allow us to look at the mirror of the culture of corruption through parallel sessions on the rule of law, morality, values education, business, and the role of civil society.
CenPEG Executive Director Evi-Ta Jimenez (no relation to one of the most power-hungry, egomaniacal, and corrupt Argentinians) invited us to serve as a resource person to the workshop on The Tantalizing Wordplay and Verbal Jousts: Relationship of Media, Culture and Corruptionary.
Day 2, December 9, will dissect the topic Language as Mirror of Culture: Reconstructing our Paradigms for Cultural Change via skills-building sessions such as cultural renewal for good governance, say, in (1) Law Enforcement; (2) Religious Instructions; (3) Media Narratives; (4) Values Integration; (5) Advocacy and Monitoring.
Hopefully, ConFest won't end up as just another invitation.
May this become a challenge to us who ought to live up to their advocacy program -- Dapat Tapat!

Unfortunately, we are all guilty, in one way or another, if we define corruption as:
  • dishonest and illegal behavior;
  • the process of rotting or decaying;
  • an unintentional or unauthorized alteration in a text or data.

One of the corrupt practices we perfect, time and again, is book piracy!
This so-called crime to the book publishing industry is made heinous by our plain and simple xeroxing.

“The rampant photocopying of the copyrighted works results in an estimated P2 billion yearly losses,” project director Lirio Sandoval, Book Development Association of the Philippines president, reveals, ”due to the weak, if not absent, respect for copyrighted works, the country’s creative workers as authors and publishers will never realize their full potential.”

Which is why National Artist Virgilio Almario formed Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society (FILCOLS), Inc., -- with him as its Chair and Karina Bolasco as Vice-Chair, L.P. Sandoval as Treasurer, together with Isagani Cruz, Abdon Balde Jr., Mariano Kilates, Galileo Zafra, Jerry Catabijan, Antonio Sagun, and Rolando de Vera as Board Members.

Today, FILCOLS -- with the support of International Federation of Reprographic Right Organizations, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, National Book Development Board -- is conducting Book Piracy and Illegal Photocopying from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Bulwagang Claro M. Recto, again in U.P. Diliman.

So if you want help us promote public awareness of the alarming rate of book piracy incidence and unauthorized photocopying of copyrighted works as well as discuss solutions through the establishment and operation of a reprographic rights organization, join FILCOLS by emailing En Villasis at and/or

Last Thursday, December 4, at the same venue, during the launch of CenPEG Board Chair Bienvenido Lumbera's Poetika/Politika, together with Teo Antonio and Mike Coroza, we debated on the root cause of corruption, whether leadership or citizenry.

Through Balagtasan, art got the answer from life itself, for one, from the House Committee on Justice dismissing the impeachment case against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo almost simultaneously with Thai constitutional court declaring Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat guilty of vote fraud!

Anyway, while Gov. Enrique Garcia was recently in hot water, his constituents were not.

While the said provincial father was battling with the suspension order for six months by Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, his kababayan – the people of Bataan were spending good time like water.

Of course, with their annual Pawikan Festival!

Now on its fourth year, this symbolic celebration was held on November 29-30 sponsored by the Bataan Tourism Council Foundation, Inc. in cooperation with the Provincial Government and the Provincial Tourism Office, that organized series of activities that aims to generate awareness and gather funds for the continuous development and rehabilitation of the conservation center.

As early as November 25, until December 1, at the Montemar Beach Club Inc. and other sites in and out of Bagac, there were Nature's Camp, beach volleyball competition, film showing, lecture, walk for a cause, sand sculpture, paddle-painting contest, street dance exhibition, concert, body painting, pawikan night patrolling, among others.

The last activity was initiated by the Pawikan Conservation Center, which was established in 1999 when a community of poachers and turtle egg collectors transformed themselves into marine turtle conservation advocates by protecting and conserving the Green Turtle, Hawksbill, and Olive Ridley species, the smallest of the seven known species in the world. Such project in an in-site conservation scheme focusing on community participation and comprehensive capacity building has gone a very long way.

Success became assured due to partnership.

Bantay Pawikan, Inc., the community volunteer group, collaborated with the Pawikan Conservation Project of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the UNLAD-Bataan Philippines Rural Reconstruction Movement (PPRM) Chapter, and provincial government of Bataan, through the local government unit of Morong.

What was initially funded by the United Nations Development Grants Programme (UNDP-GEF-SGP), Philippines and by the Japan Embassy in 2005 became sustainable with more finances for the protection of nesting turtles, collection and hatching of eggs, and releasing of hatchings to the sea.

Indeed, they have all the reasons to be thankful for, the pawikans included, in bringing sustainable progress in terms of safeguarding the natural environment under the preservation program.

Secretly, we are here, beached, praying for the extinction of the buwayas!

When two egotists meet, it is an I for an I.

Sometimes, God breaks our spirit to save our soul.
Sometimes, He breaks our heart to make us whole.
Sometimes, He sends us pain so we can be stronger.
Sometimes, He sends us failure so we can be humble.
Sometimes, He sends us illness so we can take better care of ourselves.
Sometimes, He takes away everything from us so we can learn the value of everything we have.


The 13th Writers' Night was dark indeed.
Last year, the man who invited everyone to come over – Rene O. Villanueva – was unknowingly urging each and everybody to his wake!
So, before we proceeded with our annual writers feast (courtesy of Carlos Palanca Foundation, Figaro, and San Miguel Corporation, and Tanduay, among others) we paid tribute first to one of the best playwrights and fictionists for children who succumbed to stroke due to diabetic complications at the Philippine Heart Center at the age of 53.
On Friday, December 5, his first death anniversary (with his co-faculty, Prof. Monico Atienza at the Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas) -- we will try to gather together all the slaves to love for words to its 14th year.
But this time, it will be Writers' Day -- since it will start as early as 9 a.m. to open an exhibit of photos, T-shirts, souvenirs, and other memorabilia from the University of the Philippines Writers' Workshop from 1965 up to 2008 – at the Faculty Center's Galeria 1, among the booksale of such writer-friendly publishing houses as Anvil, C&E, Milflores, New Day, to name a few, as well as the university presses of U.P., Ateneo de University, and University of Santo Tomas.
In the afternoon, around 2, at the Pulungang Claro M. Recto, University Professor Emeritus Dr. Gemino H. Abad will deliver his UP ICW Centennial Panayam entitled The Poem is the Real: A Poetics with his former dissertation advisee, Dr. J. Neil Garcia, as the master of ceremonies.
Violinist Jonathan Livioco's serenata will serve as the sweet transition from Forum on Best First Books to the the awarding ceremonies of the 8th Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award with Jose Claudio Guerrero as moderator. This year's finalists include Irma Dimaranan's Naglalayag (U.P. Press), Jerry Gracio's Apókripós (U.P.Press), Alvin Yapan's Ang Sandali ng mga Mata (AdMU Press).
However, Zosimo Quibilan's Pagluwas (U.P. Press) got the nod of judges Mayette Bayuga, Jun Cruz Reyes, and Kristian Cordero of Bicol, who became the first writer from the regions ever to win the said award two years ago, thus, paving the way, to the likes of his Kabulig colleague, Victor Dennis Nierva, who recently won the National Book Award 2008 for his poetry collection Antisi*Pasyon asin iba pang Rawitdawit sa Bikol asin Ingles / Anticipation and Other Poems in Bikol and English, translated by Marne L. Kilates and H. Francisco V. Peñones Jr. (Goldprint) tying with bigwigs Mostly in Monsoon Weather: Poems New & Revisited, by Marne Kilates (UP Press) and Passage: Poems, 1983-2006, by Edgar Maranan (Bookmark).

Film, television, and stage actor Arnold Reyes will read the excerpt from the 2006 National Book Award-winning novel of Quibilan -- who's one of the Fellows for Poetry and Fiction at the 35th and 45th U.P. Writers Workshops, respectively, which we directed in Samal Island in 1999. Now Los Angeles-based, he married his co-fellow, Sunshine, reminiscent of the Jose Lacaba-Marra Lanot love story during the first U.P. Writers Workshop in 1965). By the way, his batchmate then was Tagaytay 5's Axel Pinpin who will launch on December 3, 6 p.m., at the U.P. Balay Kalinaw his book Tugmaang Matatabil (Mga Akdang Isinulat sa Libingan ng mga Buhay) [Glib Poetry (Writings from the Graveyard of the Living)], his second full-length published collection -- and his first after his release via court order from detention!

All the Nine Muses of the Arts by National Artist Napoleon Abueva (who also did the Magdangal statue, or The Female Oblation, inaugurated during the supposedly luckiest day, August 8, in front of the College of Arts and Letters New Building) will somehow be given a good bath, at last, during Water Rocket Show at the Hardin ng mga Diwata.
Then, limelight will shift to the Institute of Creative Writing's downstair neighbor, Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan, where another National Artist, CAL dean Virgilio S. Almario, will launch Likhaan Journal 2, with him as its editor. Featured poems and stories in the U.P. Centennial edition are written by Kilates and Maranan with Abdon M. Balde, Jr., Romulo Baquiran, Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, Jr., Luis Katigbak, Phillip Yero Kimpo, Jr., Amado Angelo Rodriguez Lacuesta, Susan Lara, Rowena Tiempo Torrevillas, and Roland B. Tolentino who will receive their copy and money from the financier himself, Chancellor Sergio Cao. Other contributors like Cordero and Kilates with Ony Carcamo, Mookie Katigbak, and Carlos Piocos III will show their wares!

From 8 p.m. onwards, invited guests included poets Yanna Acosta, Cynthia Alexander, Teo Antonio, Joey Ayala, Blankahon, Giniling Festival, Heber Bartolome,Mike Coroza, Susan Fernandez, Gary Granada, Los Chupacabras, Matilda, O.G Sacred (or the rappers from Jim Libiran's Tribu), Romancing Venus, Cesare Syjuco and family, and Cy Tamura, will perform for a mini-concert while U.P. Writers Club will take care of the rest of the evening with other student writers group like Quill, Ugat, Ex Libris, and Lingua Franca, among others, from different universities with writers organizations. Traditionally, open mic follows.
As ever, the atrium will be transformed into a writers plaza with food and drink stalls, tables, and chairs where guests can get in and go out of the theater to watch the night-long extravaganza.
Right now, we are updating our directory of the U.P. Writers Workshop (one of the three national workshops with Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology Writers Workshop and Dumaguete or Silliman University Writers Workshop) so for your contact details kindly call us at # 922-1830 or email us your updated biography at

The largest cell in the human body is the female egg.
Take time to live: it is the secret of success
take time to think: it is the source of power.
Take time to play: it is the secret of youth.
Take time to read: it is the foundation of knowledge.
Take your time for friendship: it is the source of happiness.
Take time to laugh: it helps lift life's load.
Take time to dream: it hitches the soul to be the stars.
Take time to worship: it is the highway to reverence.
Take time to pray: it helps bring God near and washes the dust of earth from your eyes.


When the 31 year-old Ilustrado author Miguel Syjuco became the first Filipino to win “the Asian Booker” -- or the $10,000 Man Asian Literary Prize (over China's Yu Hua and India's Kavery Nambisan and Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi) – he got torn between two (or more) publishers!

“What Chuck's co-finalist, Krip Yuson, would call creative problem,” Dr. Jose Wendell Capili assures, “will be one of the topics during the first Philippine Conference on Global Prospectus at the University of the Philippines Nicanor Abelardo Hall in Diliman, Quezon City.”

Convened by National Artist Virgilio Almario, College of Arts and Letters dean with Fine Arts dean Tina Colayco, Architecture dean Dan Silvestre, and Music dean Ramon Acoymo -- in cooperation with Intellectual Property Office director general Atty. Adrian Cristobal Jr. -- it is open to artists, scholars, and practitioners arts and allied disciplines who are expected to point the determinants helpful in sustaining -- till Kingdom come -- the creative industries!

Dr. Capili adds: “Even if you're into tourism, sports, jewelry, or haute couture – as long as you're into the so-called Mabuhay degree of aesthetic originality -- you can join.”

On 27 November, Nestor Jardin, Cultural Center of the Philippines president, will give an overview of the Philippine arts while Dimiter Gantchev, World Intellectual Property Organization's Creative Industries Division director, will share the global perspective.

They will be followed by the Managing the Arts session with Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, Prof. Ryan Cayabyab, Marlon Rivera, Arch. Cathy Saldaña, and Kenneth Cobonpue, our The Outstanding Young Men 2003 batchmate. Afternoon is for Artists as Entrepreneurs with Robert Alejandro, Arch. Joven Ignacio, Gilda Cordero Fernando,Carlo Orosa, and Reggie Yuson.

On 28 November, Case Studies of Community-Based Industries will be featured with Alfonso "Coke" Bolipata, Arch. Dinky Consunji-Laperal Lutgardo Labad, and Armand Sta. Ana, while Managing IP in Creative Industries is next with Ang Kwee Tiang, Atty. Emma Francisco, and Atty. Jesus Antonio Ros.

The confab's finale will be the world premiere at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater of Dulaang U.P.’s Atang, a musical based on the life of National Artist Honorata “Atang” de la Rama -- written by Floy Quintos, directed by Prof. Alexander Cortez, and starred in by Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino, Frances Makil-Ignacio, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Bituin Escalante, Ricky Ibe, Jacinta Remulla, Mitoy Sta. Ana, Eric de la Cruz, Arkel Mendoza, and the Dulaang U.P. ensemble.

Had there been creative economy awareness before, Mabuhay Singers would have been millionaires by now. Formed in 1958 by Don Manoling Villar, president and owner of the Mabuhay Records Corporation (MARECO) – more popularly known as Villar Records, the group did not earn that much, or at all, for doing what they, or their fans, loved best, that is, singing kundiman, balitaw, danza, polka, and the like.

The Mabuhay Singers may have all the fame, but not the fortune, from cutting, for 20 years until 1978, more than a hundred singles and long playing records with such best-sellers as Halina't Umawit, Maligayang Araw, Pacing, Bakasyon, Perlas ng Silangan, Pasko sa Pilipinas, Pamulinawen, Bahal sa Tuba, Waray-waray, Kundiman, Pandanggo sa Pag-ibig, Rosemarie, Kakaba-kaba, and Pag-asa. Fortunately, Aquarius Records made compact disc version of their greatest hits but, in this day and age of celebrities garnering Platinum just by collecting their favorite songs, hopefully the Best of Mabuhay Singers could even get a Silver.
Good thing, they themselves are Gold!

In fact, for their 50th anniversary, Ginintuang Gunita: Konsiyerto sa Ika-50 Taon ng Pag-awit ng Mabuhay Singers will be held on 26 and 27 November, 8 p.m. at the Philamlife Theater, United Nations Ave., Ermita, Manila. Directed by Dr. Jerry Respeto and produced by the International Eye Center's Dr. Noel Jusay Lacsamana, it will also showcase Ms. Sonia Roco as narrator and National Artist Salvador Bernal as stage and costume designer.

According to the show's writer and the group's promoter -- poet/translator Michael Coroza: “Aside from recording, Mabuhay Singers had the chance to perform in different places and programs, say, in Concert at the Park, Regency of Manila, and Hotel NikkoManila Garden during the 80s and 90s. The Department of Tourism toured them around United States and Canada for its Balik-Bayan project in 1973, when they're recognized by Philippine Records Association. In 2004, they received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Aliw Foundation. In 2006, they got Pambansang Gawad ng Pagkilala from the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. Last Buwan ng Wika, my department at the Ateneo de Manila University honored them with a tribute. Today, when you say Mabuhay Singers, you mean Cely Bautista, Raye Lucero, Carmen Camacho, Peping de Leon, Eddie Suarez, Jimmy Salonga, and Marlon Marifosque – who are regulars in my radio program Harana ng Puso on DWBR 104.3 FM every Sunday night at 8.”
Also, on 25 November, we, together with Coroza, and Teo Antonio, will dare to delight doctors and the like in their Speakers' Night presentation at Teatrino, Promenade, Greenhills, San Juan. Getz Pharma's big boss Averell Gaspar and marketing specialist Fortune Sagabay would like to treat their resource persons through the years by conceptualizing a dinner with a difference entitled Makabayan, Makawika. Getz Pharma is a division of Getz Bros. Philippines, which has been engaged in marketing and distribution of pharmaceutical products, medical devices, food products and consumer goods in the Philippines since 1918.
Tonight, by the way, the Coroza and Antonio tandem will lead the Jose Corazon de Jesus' 112th birthday celebration with G.P. Abrajano, Raul Funilas, Yol Jamendang, Mikael Ko, Siege Malvar, U.P. Speca, Syke, Tugista with O.G. Sacred as guests. With Krip is Australian new media artist/composer Jayne Feyton Keane as the featured poet.
Waxing poetic and patriotic, we will teach teachers for the Kaguruang Makabayan: Development and Production of Culture-Based Lesson Exemplars for Basic Education at the Orchid Garden Suites from November 29 to December 1. For details, please contact National Commission for Culture Commissioner Elmar Ingles at 0929-4447888 or email him at

Did you know that that the huamn brian can raed wrods with lteters rumbeled? As lnog as the frist and last lteters of the wrods are at tehir porepr palecs. Bceuase the barin olny itnreperts the wrdos and not the seplilng of a ceratin wrod fnatsatic ins't 8?
The human brain functions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, until you fall for someone.

THE GIFT(ED) (November 17, 2008)

Susan Ople and company will launch their gift for all the Bagong Bayani -- Buhay OFW magazine -- at the National Book Store (Katipunan) at 4 p.m. today.
We recalled West End star Joanna Ampil, during 21st Annual Aliw Awards last 11 November at the Manila Hotel, who thanked everyone, who appreciates Overseas Filipino Wonders like her, for the Special Aliw Award she shared with Jed Madela and Arnel Pineda. Multi-talented and -tasked judge Frank Rivera, through last year's Best Stage Director Arthur Casanova, gave us the list of winners led by Aliw Hall of Famers – Alegria Ferrer, Irma Adlawan, Ricky Davao; Lifetime Achievement Awardees -- Ingrid Santamaria, Reynaldo Reyes, Ryan Cayabyab; and the MSU-Sining Kambayoka; and Entertainer of the Year – Ogie Alcasid. As if giving gifts to the gifted, the Aliw Awards Foundation Inc. and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts recognized the following: Best Child Performer – Mauna Kea Chan; Best New Artist – Charice Pempengco and Rex Lopez; Best Choral Group – UP Concert Chorus; Best Instrumental Artist – Nonoy Libanan; Best Dance Company – Halili Cruz Dance Company and Air Dance; Best Cultural Group – Pagdungawan Theatre Guild, Inc. of Mati, Davao Oriental; Best Emcee – Ryan Agoncillo; Best Stand-up Comedy Act – John Lapuz and Pokwang; Best Classical Performer -- Ramon Acoymo and Rachel Gerodias; Best Stage Actor – Robert Seña for Skin Deep (Musical Play); Joey Paras for Ang Bayot, Ang Maranao at ang Habal-habal sa Paghihintay sa Kanto ng Lanao del Norte (Non-musical Play); Best Stage Actress -- Rachel Alejandro for Avenue Q (Musical Play); Shamaine Buencamino for Ang Kalungkutan ng mga Reyna (Non-Musical Play); Best Stage Director -- Nor Domingo for Skin Deep (Musical Play); Ricky Abad for Death of Memory (Non-Musical); Best Musical Production – Pagong at Matsing (Gantimpala Theater Foundation Inc.); Best Non-Musical Production – The Death of Memory (Ateneo de Manila); Best Performer in Hotels, Music Lounge, and Bars – Richard Poon, Olivia, and Retrospect; Best Musical Director – Gerard Salonga for My Life on Stage; Best Stage Director – Freddie Santos for My Life on Stage; Best Performance in a Concert – Ogie Alcasid, Nina, and Loboc Children’s Choir; Best Major Concert -- Martin Nievera for XXV and Lea Salonga for My Life on Stage and Nonoy Libanan, Verni Varga, Isay Alvarez, May Bayot for Music from the Heart; Best Special Production – George Yang for Always Yang: Timeless Songs and Pagcor’s Wanders; Aliw Discovery of the Year – Youth Band of Cardona Rizal!

Wish that Aliw Awards will monitor literary readings in alternative venues, in and out of Manila, such as the Conspiracy Garden Cafe.

Poet Maxine Syjuco, one of the Tres Marias of enfants terribles Cesare and Jean Marie, will launch her book A Secret Life at Fully Booked, The Forum on Bonifacio High Street, The Fort at 6 p.m. on 20 November.

On 21 November, at 9 a.m., we are one of the speakers with Prof. Ferdinand M. Lopez, Gilda Olvidado, and Lourd de Veyra in a Vibal Foundation symposium called “Filipinow: Do Not English Me, I Will English You!” at the University of Santo Tomas' Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy Building. Later, at 2:30 p.m., Amelia Lapena Bonifacio will lecture on The Challenging Art of Puppetry in the Fields of Medicine and Education at the C.M. Recto Hall, Bulwagang Rizal, UP Diliman. Again for the kids, at 6 p.m. at the Ortigas Foundation Library, Adarna House and Philippine Board of Books for Young People will launch Nanoy Rafael's first children's book Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! with illustrations by Sergio Bumatay III. Simultaneously, there will be a forum on Poetry in Motion: Heights Performance Poetry Talk at the Ateneo de Manila University's Colayco Pavilion. Heights' Ali Sangalang invited us and Miko Pepito, Yol Jamendang, Raul Roco Jr., Gelo Suarez, and Kooky Tuason.
Living legends Benedict Anderson, Kidlat Tahimik, Roland Tolentino, Lav Diaz, Teresa Barrozo, Tengal, Pow Martinez, and Khavn de la Cruz, with other delegates from the 5th Annual Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference starting 20 November at the AdMU will be hosted by the Magnet Gallery (Katipunan) on 22 November at 6 p.m.
On the other hand, National Artist Virgilio S. Almario reminds us that the 2009 U.P. Writers Workshop's deadline is 30 November. Application form is available at Contact Eva Cadiz at 922-1830.
One of the alumni was poet/translator Marne Kilates who just launched last 7 November his third book at the C.C. Castro Building's rooftop office-cum-gallery of Atty. Redemberto Villanueva. Mostly in Monsoon Weather (U.P. Press) was designed by Donato Mejía Álvarez, his batchmate during the 12th U.P. Writers Workshop in 1984. His poet'sPicturebook, starting on its 21st, The Yearend & New Space Issue is now in online and we can update our links to
Nurturing Potential Towards Achieving Excellence is the Philippine Association for the Gifted's 11th Annual Convention Workshop theme on 26 November, 8 a.m., at the Garden Ballroom, Edsa Shangri-la, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City with Sec. Estrella Alabastro, Dr. Carmencita Padilla, Dr. Francis Xavier Dimalanta, Gov. Grace Padaca, Eugene Torre, Douglas Nierras, Dr. Fidel Nemenzo, and Dr. Stephen David Tommis as special guests. Day Two is optional but if you are “Actively Searching for the Filipino Gifted” you must proceed to Pocketful of Kids at the 15th Floor, Strata 2000 Bldg., F. Ortigas, Jr. Road (formerly Emerald Ave.), Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
Last year, Dr. Leticia Peñano-Ho, its president and conference co-chair, with Cecil Tamura and former Dean Mauricia Borromeo, encouraged us to tell our game of high achievement. Instead, we showed it by reminiscing our friendship with the gifted who prefer staying in the background -- including the mom of our four kids, former Dinah Palmera Pacquing of Candon City, who plays the Gintong Ina role, while fulfilling her duties as the University of the Philippines' Open University Multimedia Center director as well as a Ph..D. student in Mass Com -- since she is actually a psychiatric epidemiologist who presides the Foundation AWIT!
Whew, hope we can still find one of life's luxurious gifts – time!

UNITED STATES: Stealing is against the law.
UNITED KINGDOM:Stealing foreigners will be deported.
SAUDI ARABIA: Steal or your hands will be cut off.
PHILIPPINES: Stealing is for official use only.
Upon your life, I proclaim grace.
Upon your home, I pronounce peace.
Upon your work, I decree excellence.
Upon your storehouse, I declare abundance.

A.S.A.P. (NOvember 10, 2008)

After the world's only Superpower installed a black president to the White House, for a moment, we prioritized hope.
Over faith and charity, we put aside our issue against Desperate Housewives' Season 4 Episode 1 with Susan (played by Teri Hatcher) saying "Can I just check those diplomas because I just want to make sure that they are not from some med school in the Philippines."

Used to delayed reaction, we forgot about The Daily Show with Jon Stewart's September 18 episode with five-minute segment entitled "Is the US Ready for a Woman President?" showing our first female President Corazon Aquino with the word "Slut!" and three hearts across her face.
With no apology in mind, we thought of comparing Michelle Obama with the other 43 First Ladies.
We felt we should know if their daughters Sasha and Malia's puppy would be at par with the presidential pets in the past.
Or if Madelyn Payne Dunham is related to Max Payne?
Even the non-politicians now are interested in the two Davids -- campaign manager David Plouffet and chief strategist David Axelrod – to advise them how to slay their personal and professional Goliaths.
Can they also pull it off even if they are not anywhere near the backyards of Des Moines or the living rooms of Concord or the front porches of Charleston?
While watching those working men and women live -- who contributed, financially or otherwise, to their cause, inspired and teary-eyed, with Oprah Winfrey and Jesse Jackson – we cannot help
but ask ourselves: is this our victory too?
Even if this new America will halt their wars?
Heal our planet?
Or help the century's worst financial crisis?
Are we also a part of their progress?
Was he referring to us when he mentioned those who huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world?
Are our stories truly singular and is our destiny really shared?
Do we honestly benefit from their ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and, yes, hope?
And their creed: Yes we can?
Yes, we also can.
When he mentioned “man touched down on the moon,” Eduardo San Juan came to our mind for building the Lunar Rover or moon buggy used in 1969 by American astronauts who first landed on the moon.
When he recalled “a wall came down in Berlin,” we remembered its forerunner – our Edsa revolution.
When he told us about “a world was connected by our own science and imagination,” we could not name all our exploiting yet exploited scientists and artists.
Whatever happens, for instance, to Daniel Dingel who developed, again in 1969, a water-powered prototype that was never patented and commercialized because of the alleged anti-
Dingel car conspiracy by multinational oil companies?
Well, we just kept quiet when he said that this is our time.
In our case, putting our people back to work and opening doors of opportunity for our kids may sound like a joke if the real jobs are only available overseas.
Restoring prosperity and promoting the cause of peace could pass as a fiction or surfiction when we think of their war economy.
And reclaiming the American dream?
Tell that to our World War II veterans.
Or to Dr. Dean Kotlowsky.
He will elaborate on the implication and impact on the Philippines of the said Administration they absolutely trusted – since his 65-million votes are the most ever garnered by an American presidential candidate -- even if his name can be mistaken for Osama bin Laden and Sadam Hussein!
All these and more can be deliberated or debated during the annual conference of the American Studies Association of the Philippines (ASAP) at the Philippine Social Science Center, Quezon City, on 15 November.
For this year, ASAP chose Converges and Diversities: Dimensions of American Studies as its theme with Ms. Martha Buckley, cultural affairs officer of the US Embassy, as its guest of honor.
Former Department of Health secretary Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan will update us on the recruitment of Filipino nurses to the States while Mr. Rod Spires will talk about American corporations in Asia and Mr. Danilo Sebastian L. Reyes will tackle the American business process outsourcing in the Philippines.
Likhaan: University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing director Dr. Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr. will share his experience in teaching American literature whereas Dr. Ma. Socorro Q. Perez will shed light on the association of Ilokano writers in Hawaii (where a Kenyan Barack Hussein Obama Sr. met a white American Ann Dunham who gave birth to his junior at the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu).
As a comic relief, former U.P. Press deputy director Dr. Ma. Rhodora G. Ancheta brighten or lighten up the day by discussing the American stand-up comedy.
Founded in 1964 (when Obama's parents divorced when he was two years old) ASAP is the oldest professional organization in the Philippines committed to the study of the different facets of Philippine-American relations.
In the same vein, Anvil Publishing's and Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) Board Member Karina Bolasco is inviting us in a conversation with John Corbett.
No, not American actor and country music singer but the professor of Applied Language Studies in the Department of English Language at the University of Glasgow
– who was with us, Dr. Dalisay and Ms. Bolasco, in Bringing Text to Life - 2008 Animating Literature in Singapore from 29 January to 1 February upon the invitation of British Council Philippines' Programme Manager Jansen Mayor.
Mr. Corbett will be here for a big English language and literature teaching workshop on Nov. 22 and for a conversation entitled "Writing across cultures" with our best writers on 17 November, 2-5 pm, at the Bestsellers bookstore in Robinson's Galleria.
Maybe, in addition, we could ask him – being an expert in the use of the intercultural approach in English language teaching through literature – how to deal with such shows as Harry on Paul on BBC1 that “depicted racism and exploitation of Filipino domestic helpers” last September 26.
As in Action for Survival, Action for Progress.
A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
Having one child make you a parent having two makes you a referee.

SECOND LIFE (November 03, 2008)

If Orlando R. Nadres were alive, he'd be celebrating his 70th birthday today!
Instead, TAYABASIN or TAgapagtaguyod ng YAmang-kultural ng BAyan para sa Salinlahi did it for him yesterday at Ryan Palad's ATAGAN Center in Tayabas City where he was born in 1938.
Before his untimely death on 14 July in 1991, Nadres started in komiks with Mars Ravelo, worked for the G. Miranda and Sons Publishing Co. that inspired him to write Paraisong Parisukat, edited Sixteen Magazine, until he got involved with the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) through National Artist Lino Brocka.
In the late 80s, this ex-seminarian deemed it necessary to come home and help his kababayans via his theater group SUSI or Sanayan at Ugnayan sa Sining, noted for reviving the tradition of carillo, santacruzan and sarsuwela. Not to mention, Mukha ng Tayabas, a beauty pageant where we were tapped to co-emcee with the then upcoming actress Cherry Pie Picache.
Dandy to many, he was an accomplished stage, film, television writer, director and actor with the following titles to his credit:
  1. "Magdusa Ka" (1986 & 2008)
  2. Imortal (1989)
  3. Beloved (1985)
  4. Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa (1974) (segment "Bukas, Madilim, Bukas")
  5. Stardoom (1971)

But, one thing he could never forgive and we could never forget was the violation of his intellectual property right committed by a popular television executive/actress/producer/host who after picking his brain dumped him, though he had great track record for directing Balintataw (1970-72), Hilda (1972), Babae (1974), Atin ang Daigdig (1974), Tanghalan (1975), and Lino Brocka Presents (1977), among others.

As if adding insult to injury, a dramarama was born without him in the early 90s on May 15, the feast day of San Isidro Labrador, which Tayabas is known for, with Pahiyas!

Last All Souls' Day, after offering prayers and flowers for him at the cemetery, more popularly known as “Paalam, Mahal Ko,” they presented Hanggang Dito na Lamang at Maraming Salamat and Huling Hagbong, and their future plans such as nominating him for the National Artist award!

Related to this is the celebration of the Philippine Book Development Month by way of a marathon reading of Rio Alma's translation of Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere from 9 a.m. of November 8 up to the following day at the Filipinas Heritage Library fronting Manila Pen in Makati City.

Also, on November 9, at the FHL Tower, at 9 a.m. National Book Store consultant and novelist Abdon Balde Jr. will deliver a paper entitled Panitikan bilang Produktong Komersiyal as part of the lecture series of Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika at Anyo.

LIRA, by the way, had been on a campus tour with its National Commission for Culture and the Arts-funded Sining ng Tugma at Sukat since its launch last September 14 at the Parish Hall of Saint Francis de Malabon in General Trias, Cavite.

For its fourth leg, we were assigned to conduct such workshop for teachers last October 25 but we took a sidetrip with president Beverly Siy and her diving partner George Ang Dy Pay, who owns and operates the Boardwalk Dive Center at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in USS Essex-crazy Olongapo.

The STS Team of Ynna Abuan, Philip Kimpo, and Deborah Nieto got there the day before for our D-Day in Coral Garden with Dante Lagac and our savior Jason Obien who gave us our second life!

At the Subic Central School, we were treated like Born-Agains by its superintendent Amelia Hebron Mojica and principal Lilia Rosete and their court: Bienvenido Apdal, Christopher Angeles, Mary Anne Angeles, Artemio Aquino, Ester Ching, Jacqueline Concepcion, Venus Fabeliña, Laureto Jimenez, and consultant Clarita A. Lagrama who is proposing a region-wide version.

Meanwhile, if you are more of a scientist than an artist looking for some sem break class -- there is KLASRUM ADARNA: SCIENCE LECTURE SERIES at U.P. Balay Internasyonal, University of the Philippines Diliman Campus, Quezon City on November 8.

All in a day's workshop, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., they will talk about Play Science: Toys, Experiments, Field Trips; Storytelling and Science; Teach and Advocate; and Be Involved! which will handled by the likes of Dr. C.P. David and other experts from the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences and Institute of Environmental Sciences, UP Integrated School, and The Raya School. Greenpeace South East Asia will be present to cap the lecture series. For details, you may reach us through 372-35-48 loc 110 or through vanessa@adarna.

And, if you are both scientist/artist, the November Issue (No.13) of Ctril+P Journal is now ready for downloading at this link: papers presented at the 2008 International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA).

As always we ask that you help disseminate this journal to your friends and e-groups. To be part of mailing list, please email its editor, artist Judy Freya Sibayan, at

Shotgun wedding: a case of wife or death.

All the water in the ocean can never sink a ship unless they get inside.
Likewise all the pressures of life can never hurt you unless you let them in.

O.M.G.! (October 27, 2008)

Exactly a month ago, we got invited to the Camp Rock Drilon – better known as Mag:Net Gallery.
We were in his most beloved branch, along Katipunan, and all the boyz in the hood seemed to be in a brotherhood mood, more like the Bonifacios than the Jonases, so we got into the next best thing to a blood compact.
After the Rock's toast, we agreed to host – Every Last Monday Of The Month!
E.L.M.O.T.M. is too forgettable as “Duane Johnson,” so we settled, in less than an hour of red wine and bamboo shoot in coconut milk, for O.M.G.
Or Open Mic Gig!
Yes, everyone can jam but for its opening which today, October 27, from 7p.m. to 9 p.m., so we invited special guests, headed by our National Artist Virgilio and University Professor Emeritus Gemino Abad.
They will be joined in by Joes, Nicks, and Kevins of Philippine Literature -- Jose Marte Abueg, Yanna Acosta and her band, Tata Funilas, Marne Kilates, Ed Maranan, Nick Pichay, Danton Remoto, Joseph Saguid, Angelo Suarez, Joel Toledo, Lourd de Veyra, Krip Yuson (who with Kavery Nambisan, Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, Yu Hua, and Miguel Syjuco made it to the shortlist of the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize)!

The Neo Angono Artists Collective will do installations and performances – as prelude to its 5th Public Art Festival on 20-22 November!
Next month, too, in celebration of Jose Corazon de Jesus' birthday, Teo Antonio and Mike Coroza will relive the Huseng Batute heyday with Ony Carcamo, Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines, U.P. Speca, and the Tribu Rappers on November 24.
Last October 8, Lakbay Dulaang U.P. was launched at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater by staging two very colorful one-act comedies Laban ng Basketball and Wanted: A Chaperon, both written by Guerrero himself and directed by Dexter Santos, who did a great job even with his intermission dance narrating Rene Villanueva's retelling of Ang Alamat ng Butiki. Alumna Boots Anson-Roa reminisced their good ol' days with Guerrero, Lino Brocka, and their curtain-raiser named Nur Misuari.
We recommended to Prof. Ken Jamandre and company the possibility of staging sala plays at the Magnet during the yuletide season.
The Division Schools Press Conference of the Division of Bataan is ongoing right now so we had to leave right after lunch to reach Magnet Gallery's last literary event for the month on time. From Oct. 27 to 28 at the Pablo Roman High School in Pilar, Bataan, all elementary and secondary schools in the Division of Bataan will take part in the campus journalism workshop we conducted with Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, Ariel Lansang, Serge Ontuca, and Louie Tabing, upon the invitation of Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Romeo Alip; English Supervisor Mrs. Dolores Tanada; Filipino Supervisor Mrs. Liwanag Santiago, and poet Josephine Pagaduan of the Bataan National High School.
Yesterday, we did a Romeo Garduce, a Balanga native, in making Mt. Everest out of Mt. Samat with Mr. Rudy de Mesa, the City Administrator of Balanga; Cesar Cuayson, the Provincial Tourism Office head; political analyst Engr. Romy Gaspar; Prof. Rolando Carpio of the Bataan Peninsula State University; and James Pagaduan, president of Bataan Public School Teachers and Employees Association.
Talking about mountains and moving them, we were able to catch the last Wednesday's Bulong Pulungan sa Sofitel about kids in jails with the guests like Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Alicia R. Bala. For his part, Atty. Alberto Muyot, UNICEF Child Protection Specialist summed it all up: “Reducing the minimum age of criminal responsibility will mean more public expenditure for the prosecution and detention of children who could otherwise be dealt with more effectively through community-based programmes. The estimated cost of constructing a small youth detention home is more than P 2 million and the operational cost for such a facility for a year is about P3 million. The cost of community-based programmes is minimal. The one-time cost involved is in training the social workers and barangay officials on community-based intervention and diversion programmes, at around P240,000 for a three-day live-in training for 40 participants.” He also gave the following recommendations for R.A. No. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006:
  1. Measures to ensure that children who are 15 years or below who commit offenses are provided intervention programmes.
  2. Clarification of the legal definition of “15 years of age.”
  3. Stiff penalties for adults who exploit children for criminal activities.
  4. Protective measures, including the proper use of curfew ordinances.

In addition, the Philippine Judicial Academy has recommendation to the Supreme Court of the Philippines to further improve our justice system: USE FILIPINO IN COURTS!

Last October 20, during the Seminar-Workshop sa Paggamit ng Filipino sa Hukuman at the Marcelo H. del Pilar College of Law in Bulacan State University, they hoped to create a curriculum that will train judges and others in using our national language during court trials. To ensure its success, mock trials were conducted in Filipino in front of such authoritative resource persons as National Artist Virgilio Almario of the U.P. Diksiyonaryong Filipino fame, Dr. Isagani R.Cruz of Wika ng Kultura at Agham Inc.; Atty. Jose I. de la Rama Jr. of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Bulacan Chapter; Justice Oswaldo D. Agcaoili; Justice Justo P. Torres; Atty. Marlon Manuel; Dean Pacifico A. Agabin, and Judge Cezar C. Peralejo who began this not only patriotic but practical advocacy as early as 1963. The following day, curriculum development in Filipino was conducted by Dr. Galileo Zafra, the director of the U.P. Sentro ng Wikang Filipino, whose English-Filipino Legal Dictionary, Gabay sa Editing sa Wikang Filipino at Glosaring Pang-administrasyon are must-have in every attache case, attorney's or otherwise.

Did you know that a lot of people lost their properties, their jobs, or their lives – simply because they do not or cannot understand the law and the jurisprudence since lawyers and the like use their kind of English in and out of the courtroom?

Oh my gulay!

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When SHE cancels a date, it's because she HAS TO.But when HE cancels a date, it's because he HAS TWO!

Success is relative. The success, the more relatives.