During Pres.Manuel Luis Quezon's 132nd birthday, we were invited to a celebration with a theme Ang Galing Mo Quezonian, Yaman at Dangal Ka Ng Lalawigan last August 19 at the Perez Park in the Quezon Province's capital – Lucena City.
A Tayabasin in Barangay University of the Philippines Campus, we went home in 2003 to receive to Quezon Medalya ng Karangalan for Literature with others like former Cong. Proceso Alcala, the incumbent Department of Agriculture secretary.
This time, Gov. David “Jayjay” Suarez paved the way for our homecoming. He explained that his Natatanging Anak ng Quezon team had no time to fully scrunitize all the nominees this year due to post-May elections turn of events.They found it unfair to all the past winners if they would hastily come up with a decision so they moved the selection to 2011. In lieu of the awarding ceremonies this year, they instead honored us at the Bulwagang Kalilayan where the previous awardees, from 1970 to 2009, that included the likes of Hon. Agnes Devanadera, the recipient of Gintong Medalya ng Karangalan. With us on the table were swimming sensation, Louie Francis Marquez (who won the Special Award in 2001 with Cariza Seguerra, a.k.a. Aiza); gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Cecilia Llave; National Commission for Culture and the Arts commissioner Elmar Ingles who won last year for arts and culture; and director, Gil Portes, who got it in 1985 for the performing arts and the Special Award for theater and arts in 1997. After lunch, with Sir Gil and Elmar, we approached Sec. Alcala, Gov. Suarez, and his father, Cong. Danilo Suarez, to propose a film project about our hometown hero – Apolinario de la Cruz (22 July 1815 to 4 November 1841) – also known as “Kristo Tagalo” being the crusader of religious freedom. On our way back to Quezon City via Lucban, Sir Gil revealed his plan to teach Contemporary Philippine Cinema and to write a book about it but his skeds get in the way. We suggested the idea of doing an interview of him about his life and works. And he just smiled when we asked when and where. The next thing we knew was that he texted us last August 24 -- when Psalma turned 13 and when that tragicomedy called Hostage Crisis at Quirino Grandstand occurred – to extend his invite to watch Two Funeral's premiere night. Last September 8 at SM Megamall, while watching the film, we heard Father Laughter from our seatmate, Fr. Robert Reyes, who had been into the different faces and phases of death lately -- after arriving from Hongkong for his personal projects like Lakbay Dangal or Buhay Ka! and attending the Incident Investigation and Review Committee for that entire day. Fr. Robert seemed to have found a comic relief in the latest Portes classic. This flick – that won him five awards in the recent 6thCinemalaya Film Festival Director’s Showcase category: Best Direction and Special Jury Prize (Gil Portes); Best Screenplay (Eric Ramos); Best Cinematography (Arvin Viola); and Audience Choice -- would have been nothing but a plain and simple extended metafun. Or metapun – between the words “Buensuceso” (or the “good success” of the girl who failed to make her mom and dad proud) and “Buenviaje” (or the “good trip” of a bad man whose last days had gone worse). However, intelligent script, mature direction, and calculated ensemble acting transformed this black comedy into a colorful tragedy from Tuguegarao, Cagayan to Matnog,Sorsogon. Its Holy Week and election period setting exposes us to religious and political hypocrisies!
For our part, we were toying with the idea of including Two Funerals in the revised version of our research Komedya vs Komedi: O Kung Bakit Ibig nating Paputiin ang ating mga Kilikili, which we read during the 6th Tayabas Province Studies Conference.
Last 4 September, what made us feel guilty -- in our hometown whose cityhood could not even be found in Nawawalang Paraiso Resort – was Kathleen Tantuico whose thesis Pag Abyad sa Altaran: Maintaining the Rice Terraces in Tayabas for the Ateneo de Manila University's Sociology and Anthropology Department made her. A Valedictorian, she received the A.B. Social Sciences Program Award, Ateneo Socio-Civic Engagement for National Development (ASCEND) Awards, Frank Lynch Award for Excellence in the Social Sciences, Emma Porio Award for Best Research Paper, and Fernando Zialcita Award for Excellence in Cultural Heritage. Her work reminds us that we have been taking our natural resources for granted. It would take a Manileňa like her to teach us the lessons of Kapitan Felimon Villanueva and the rest of Barrio Dapdap. Now a 22-year old Diploma holder from U.P. Diliman's elite Archeological Studies Program, Kathleen was able to introduce our heritage site to the academe, not just nationally but internationally too, when she presented it the 6th European Council for Southeast Asian Studies (EUROSEAS) Conference in Sweden two weeks ago. Other topics that prolonged our guilt trip include: Lokal at Katutubong Kultura at Kasaysayan Bilang Pundasyon ng Pambansang Pagkakilanlan at Kamalayan (Com. Ingles, NCCA Subcommission on Cultural Dissemination head);Ancestral Houses of Lucena: A Preliminary Documentation (Arch. Jennifer Sanchez, Enverga University); Balik Tanaw sa mga Naglalahong Hayop at Halaman ng Mulanay (Jonathan Jimenez); Magka-ugnay: The Experience of Arella-Suguitan Museum of Lopez,Quezon (Gemma San Jose); Ang Sining sa Laylayan ng Bundok Banahaw(Prof. Santiago Albano Pilar, U.P. Diliman); Medical Practice in the late 19th Century Rural Philippines (Dr. Celestina Boncan, U.P. Manila); The Admission and treatment of Insanity in the Philippines during the Spanish Period: Selected cases from the Provinces of Tayabas and Laguna (Dr. Regino Paular, De La Salle University Dasmarinas, Cavite); Ang Tayabas sa El Fili ni Rizal (Joselito de los Reyes, University of Santo Tomas); Ang Wika ng Inskripsyon sa Binatbat na Tanso ng Laguna (Jaime Tiongson); Heritage Tours and Business Plan: A Format for Local Arts and Culture Councils (Ino Manalo); The Art of Biography Discoveries (Maria Lourdes Abulencia); Isang Pag-aaral sa Kinahinatnan ng Komedya sa Bayan ng Tayabas (Estelita Valdeavilla-Llanita, La Salle Greenhills); Kahoy: Lexicon of Wood Term from the 16th to 19th Century Sources: With Focus on Tayabas Province (Cheek Fadriquela); Pangkalinangang Pagpapakahulugan sa Utang (Dr. Lars Ubaldo, DLSU-Manila); and Nakakain ba ang Heritage? (Prof. Eric Zerrudo, Metropolitan Museum/UST)!
Another future Quezon Medalya ng Karangalan awardee -- like Tayabas Studies and Creative Writing Center president Ryan Palad or Msgr. Leandro Castro who launched his book Mga Hakbang sa Landas ng Pag-asa during his birthday last September 7 -- was historian Eric Dedace, who sent us out an S.O.S. from Mr. Herbert Perez, who is not only the rondalla trainer/ adviser of the Sariaya Community Rondalla and the Quezon Rondalla but likewise the Pambansang Samahan ng Rondalla (PASARON) president! The good news: the said rondalla group was one of the 10 chosen to represent the country in Cuerdas 3: Kuwerdas sa Pagkakaisa, an International Rondalla Festival to be held at the Tagum City, Davao del Norte on 12 to 19 February next year. The bad news: they need to solicit financial help for their set of instruments, supplies of strings, costumes, and expenses for their training. To raise funds, they are also planning to sell T-Shirts and CDs this coming December. We took the liberty to forward his letter to Ms. Ana Sol Reyes from the Department of Education's Bureau of Secondary Education and they at once pledged to money and memo to teachers. For details, please contact them at +639104341055.
One of the donors was Capt. Leonardo Laano whose daughter -- Lea Audrey, a B.S.Travel Management major at the University of Sto. Tomas – made it to the Kisig at Ganda 2010 produced by Starcasting Entertainment Guild Inc. Directed by Fernando “Bing” Nadera, who pioneered locally such concerts with a cause as With Much Love, the musical fashion showdown will take place on October 16, 7 p.m., at City Antigua in Lucena City.
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died because of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
I live by faith and not by sight, so whether I see you or not, I know you are still the same --a friend!