Monday, January 12, 2009


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.

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