Monday, January 12, 2009

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.

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