Monday, September 5, 2011

An Patrun sa Calbayog

Hi there! We are 3 days way to the City Fiesta. On Thursday Calbayognons will once again thank the Almighty through Nuestra Señora De La Natividad for the graces He has always bestowed upon Calbayog. The day’s main activity is Pontifical Mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. Bishop Isabelo Abarquez will preside over the said celebration. Leading the Calbayog faithful are this year’s hermanas mayores namely, Thelma Diomangay – Manaog, Delia Corrales – Diomangay, Tomasa Corsiga - Antivo and Sheila So Seng - Montagot.

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Fiesta Events performers to go onstage at the Nijaga Park:

  • September 5: Joey Ayala at Ang Bagong Lumad.
  • September 6: it’s going to be a night for dance enthusiasts with the group called Dance Aficionados.
  • On September 7: the Pinoy rock band Asin

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I first did this in 2008 and I’m doing it again in today’s column. I would like to feature an old account, a very old account - 1912 to be exact – of the fiesta celebration in Calbayog. I got this from the September 1912 issue of the Eco de Samar y Leyte. It was written by someone who called himself “namatron”.

The account also mentioned the name of one Señora Trinidad Camilon. If one is to check the list of the hermanas pasadas in the Calbayog Fiesta souvenir programs, that name is the first entry in the said list. The copy I got was not a clear one and that explains the blanks in this feature.

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Here’s that article entitled “An Patrun sa Calbayog

“Masadya, maribhung, malinao an cadagatan, mahayag an langit, mapaua an adlao sama san daguay sin usa nga Angel, amo _______ san ca-adlauan sadto san mahal nga Patrona dinhe sa Calbayog nga guinsalinorog sadton 8 sini nga bulan. Ngatanan mga binohat dao nabuñog san cahayag ni Maria Santissima dida san adlao san iya pagcatauo. Tubtob san ante vispera, nag ticang an pag-abut san magcalainlain nga domoro-ong, labi na an Cat_____on. San mga balay, mga cadalanan nacarahibut an tauo guican sa magkalain-lain nga dapit. San visperas san aga, nag suot na an tauo dinhi sa ciudad nga tungod san cadamo, macuri magpaca-agui an mga caleza. San pag a las doce catapos pagpahibaro san linganay sa Catedral san mahal nga Patron. Pagcabuas an mga musico san Parroquia ug sa Ipao nag libot san bungto. Ug san pagcaculop, nag canta san visperas an _____ nga cura san Catedral R. P. Jose Diaznes. Pag ca aga _______, san may mga a las 4 nag Diana an mga musico nga _______ san pagtauagtauag sa Catedral, sin usa cadali napuno san maniringba san siapa nga misa san Señora nga may mga lima nga mga babayi lalaqui bata tigurang nga dinara-on sa pag _____ san mahal nga lauas ni Jesucrisdto. Ug hasta san a las 7 nga eguin repique sa misa Mayor, waray pahuway an tauo nga maniringba san damo nga capadian nga nagmisa. San mga a las 8 amo an eguin ticang san misa cantada nga dinoyogan san ma ranog nga Organo, sa Catedral paroc san Señor Obispo. An misa nga guin canta an guin ngangaranan Pedro de las Heras, an masabut ug bantugan nga organista si Sr. Malaquias Nonato, Professor san musica sa Seminario eguin paquita an iya quina-adman dida san pag doyog niya san organo, cay pacasiring namon dao nahimomotang cami sin Paraiso san pagbati namon sadto nga mga awit. An nagcanta amo an mga capadian sa Seminario nga alagad san ira cabatiran ug maluay nga tingog inabutan an mga maniringba sin cahinoclob. An nag misa an Cura san Catedral linoyoloyohan san mga ministros nga si D. Ignacio Arganda, Diacono ug si D. Ramon Codilla Subd. Catapos san Evangelio nag wali si P. Conrado Maga, Coadjutor sa Catedral.”

“An Señora opod an mga magtoto-on sa Seminario ug mga Seminarista, nag tambong didto san iya trono. Sugadman an mga Colegialas opod an mga Madres naray caculang. Catapos san misa, nagsugod na liwat an aringasa ngan ribhong, cay an mga estudiantes sa Colegio sa San Vicente nga guican sa Singbahan vinistihan sin mga cadete, nag ejercicio ug nag parada sira sa cadalanan nga nacalingao san mga tauo. Pagcacolop may mga a las 3 pinangolohan san Presidente Sr. Malaquias Nonato, nag tiroc an mga sacop san Sociedad Milagrosa ug nag buhat sin rumba, carrera de bicecleta, juego de anillos y Cintas canan bag-ong tubo mga hatag hasta magcalainlain nga premio. San pagca a las 5 guin himua an macaserendac nga Procesion nga inopdan ni P. Bonifacio Villora Cura sa Oquendo, linoloyohan san mga Seminaristas inopod man an Señora nga guin lilibutan san mga capadian. An carro matahum caupay, mapaua, tacos ug angay nga nahimomotangan sen mahal nga Patrona, halad san ma-abiabihon nga Hermana Mayor si Sra. Trinidad Camilon. An ira balay pono pono sin tauo ticang pa san tinicangan san novena nga guin solemne sa ira. Diri hicalimtan an camapuanguron san mga anac, labi na si Sra. Lolay ug si Loling nga uaray hingan san cahago, paglipay san ira mga dapit.”

“Sa tuig tuig ngatanan quinita nga an pagto-o sini nga bungto ug an ira pag alagad sa Dios nag titidogang la lugod, bisan con guin tatalingoha san iba an pag parong condao calayo, cay an ira an pag contra sa Dios ug pag supil san mga mahi___lo nga pamatasan, cay basi matumanan san ira mga maraut nga guinaui-an ug hunahuna, condi sa Dios uaray magtatamay, may adlao san pag panodia, cay polong pa nga an tinonto mo, intoy, sa lauas mo o-oli.” (namatron)

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This is it for now. Have a nice week everyone! Ciao!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Death of a Bishop

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another weekend and we are less than a week away to the City Fiesta. I have decided that my usual acerbic comments about the world around me will have to wait until after the fiesta. In the meantime it will be about some fiesta events.

The novena masses have started, the City Hall has been given a facelift and some of you might have seen the mayor in the streets of Calbayog as he made rounds to check and ensure that the city (especially at the commercial area) is clean.

Tomorrow night Calbayog will be in for the annual Search for Miss Anyag. This will be held at the Calbayog City Sports Center. Confirmed as judges in the said pageant are Congresswoman Lucy Torres and Richard Gomez.

On Sunday, Bishop Isabelo Abarquez will preside over the confirmation ceremony of a good number of young Calbayognons the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral.

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And what’s with today’s title? You might want to ask. Nope, no bishop died today. Last August 10, 2011 we commemorated the 91st anniversary of the death Bishop Pablo Singzon, the first Bishop of Calbayog.

The following item was supposed to have come out in the August 12 edition of this paper. But I did not make it to the deadline. This is my annual tribute to the first bishop of the Diocese of Calbayog. Blame it on the history buff in me and my interest in materials that are old, in this case a very old material dating back to August 14, 1920. It’s among the copies of the Eco de Samar y Leyte which I got sometime in 2008, as our team prepared for the Calbayog coffee table book.

That particular issue on August 14, 1920 had in its English section this headline: “Mgr. Pablo Singzon, first Bishop of Calbayog died last Tuesday morning”. Let me give you that old account which was written by someone who went by the name of “PLOPE”.

“It was a melancholic and sorrowful Monday at about six o’clock when our Illustrious Prelate Mgr. Pablo Singzon in the modest parlor of the Episcopal palace was attended by his familiars among whom was Dr. Tomas Gomez. His weary respiration and the paleness of his face moved the hearts of those who were present and caused them a painful feeling of separation. The pain of his sickness was becoming more and more painful which called him to stay in bed.

At 10:00 o’clock p.m. when Mgr. Singzon found out that he did not feel a better repose nor even a rest from the pain of his sickness in his bed, wanted to sit on a chair – the chair where he received the spiritual consolations last November when he was attacked severely by the same sickness. In this chair he decided to die. Tears that roll from my eyes prevent not my pen to communicate my pain!

When the clock knocked its eleven strikes Mgr. Singzon was becoming weaker and weaker. From the neck of our illustrious patient hanged a bead of rosary, the Escapulary of the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Miraculous Medal. Around him were his favorite Auxiliary Bishop Mgr. Sofronio Hacbang, RR. FF. Jose Diasnes, Teodoro Robredo, Luis Egeda, Dr. Tomas Gomez, RR. FF. Pedro Pampliega, Santos Saldaña, the Seminarians Bernardo Bacsal, Lesmes Ricalde, and behind the chair were RR. FF. Felix Sabenicio and Crispin Singzon. It was indeed a sorrowful occasion! All those who were present observed firmly to the patient and watched his movements whose weary and painful respiration cooled their hearts. Mgr. Singzon was not as active as he used to be: his activity, attention and application were changed: Mgr. Singzon was transformed struggling between the existence of life and death.

Mgr. Sofronio Hacbang his Auxiliary Bishop and who had never left him read the profession of the faith, the recommendation of the soul; whose voice in the midst of that tranquility and in the midst of that struggling pain called his attention to listen. Rev. F. Jose Diasnes neared to the patient by order of the Auxiliary Bishop to give him a confession. How great and how sublime is to die in the name of the Catholic Religion, though in the midst of pain.

The illustrious patient was losing gradually his movements the coolness of his body began to cover him with its veil, his paleness was becoming more and more pale. Then all those who were present knelt down with lighted candles before a crucifix near the patient and said the following words: “PROFESU ERE ANIMA CRISTIANA

Mgr. Singzon gave up his last breath in the morning of the sorrowful Tuesday when the clock knocked its 3:20 strikes” (PLOPE)

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In memoriam. Tomorrow we remember Bishop Sincero Lucero on his death anniversary.

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This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Music Man of Samar (3)

Hi there! It’s a new week and yes we’re still into our long weekend. How I wish we get to have some more of these Monday holidays. Ah Ricky and Mitos. What a show, oops, I’m at a loss as to what to call that tussle between Secretary Carandang and Congresswoman Magsaysay. Anyway, I guess that showdown was not unexpected. And yes (as a news report had it), considering the history of the House (of congress) and its members, budget hearing oftentimes become a venue for lawmakers to faceoff with cabinet secretaries regarding (more of) their parochial concerns and oftentimes not so much about the budget and the like. Well, as la vida. Or should I say everything boil down to three words: perks and occupational hazard. That’s depending on which side of the debate you happen to find yourself into.

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Patrun sa Calbayog. The 9-day Novena Masses in preparation for the Calbayog City Fiesta will commence tomorrow. This year’s Hermanas Mayores are all members of the Diomangay Clan, they are Thelma Diomangay – Manaog, Delia Corrales – Diomangay, Tomasa Corsiga – Antivo and Sheila So Seng – Montagot.

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Events at my alma mater. The Philippine Science Centrum will open its Science Fun Caravan Travelling Exhibit at Christ the King College on Thursday (September 1). Invited to speak during the opening program are Calbayog Schools Division Superintendent Edita Paculan, Congressman Mel Sarmiento, Mayor Ronaldo Aquino and CKC President Fr. Marcelo Tubac, OFM.

The Philippine Science Centrum (PSC) is a comprehensive educational program composed of various interactive science exhibit modules and write-ups, teacher activities, lessons and projects. To reach the various individuals, communities and academic institutions and organizations in the countryside, the Science Fun Caravan Travelling Exhibit was established. This mobile exhibition was designed to reach out and bring the exciting educational offering of PSC in Metro Manila to the regions.

The Calbayog run of the exhibit will last until the end of September.

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Here’s the conclusion of the article about Jose Gomez, the Music Man of Samar.

Like in the Wink of an Eye: The Heroism of the Gomez Sisters. To protect the authorship of his music after the war, he obtained letters from the Adjustment General. But the most tragic blow in his life came with the death of his kin and five members of the guerilla band who were captured by the Japanese soldiers in Barangay Acedira in Bobon, Northern Samar. They were interrogated and tortured to reveal the whereabouts of Jose. Refusing to give in to the Japanese, his sisters Josefa, Francisca and Trinidad were made to walk the nine-kilometCatarman. Josefa died along the way on March 7, 1944. Francisca and Trinidad reached Catarman only to be bayoneted to death at dawn of March 9, 1944. They were buried in a common grave together with the five members of the Cecilian Band who were also killed by the Japanese namely, Corporals Basilio Comilan and Maximo Del Monte, Private 1st Class Pablo Aniban and Irencio Jalayajay and Private 2nd Class Ramon Aniban.

Jose expressed his grief over the loss of his sisters in a heart-rending composition, “In The Wink Of An Eye”.

He was also moved to write a song “An Kamote” in praise of the lowly plant which saved many families from starvation during the war years. He also composed “Bandit Of The Hills” after the Japanese called his guerilla group “bandits”.

The leadership qualities and the courage which Jose Gomez demonstrated during the war made him a logical person to organize the Calbayog Police and acted as its leader.

After Calbayog became a city on October 16, 1948, he took the additional responsibility of being the Chief of the Secret Service Division of the Police Department. This arrangement continued until 1953.

Musical Performances for CKC.Upon the arrival of the American Franciscan Fathers of the Assumption Province of Pulaski, Wisconsin, Jose and other civic-spirited Calbayognons helped the Friars acquire six hectares of land situated in the eastern part of the city. The area was known as “Hamorawon Hills” and was owned by seven families.

The Friars arrived in Calbayog to take over the administration of the Colegio De San Vicente De Paul (CSVP). Musical performances were staged and sponsored by the faculty of the CSVP to launch the school now known as Christ the King College (CKC). At CKC, Jose trained “some 70 boys and girls comprising the college band”.

Shower of Musical Thoughts. Jose never ceased from writing music, church hymns, guerilla marches and graduation marches for schools in Calbayog. Famous among these are CKC’s “Christi Regians”, “Bongto Ko” and “Mutya -San Kagab-ihon" which won the 1st prize, besting the different schools in Region 8 during the CIDAL Meet Singing Competition in Catbalogan, Samar. He also wrote Christmas songs entitled “Panarit No. 2, 3 and 4”, the "La Milagrosa March”, Calbayog Pilot Central School March and the Tiburcio Taninco Memorial Vocational School March.

Jose Gomez has written 5,000 songs, 500 of which he applied for copyright. He filed this in his bound collection called “Shower of Musical Thoughts”.

On September 1974, he won in the “Paligsahan sa Musika” Songwriting Competition. His song “Hiboy-Hiboy” won during the municipal, provincial and regional levels. But he lost to Dodong Pinedero during the Grand National Finals at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

“Pa, did you receive a plaque?” On November 1974, he suffered a stroke paralyzing his left arm. It was probably caused by his fight against a recording company for its alleged violation on the patent right on his composition “Ahay”. He was brought to Manila for medical treatment.

During his stay at the hospital, his eldest son Tony happily showed him a plaque.

“I received this for my outstanding contribution to the company I worked for”. He continued, “Pa, did you receive any plaque of recognition for your musical efforts in Calbayog?”

That question struck Jose speechless and motionless, he turned his gaze away from his son and stared pensively at the window. Tear slid down slowly upon his aging cheeks. It was only at that moment that the eldest son realized that he asked a sensitive question.

Against the advice of his doctor, Jose insisted on going home believing that he will recover in Calbayog. He came home on January 1975. In the early morning of February 2, 1975, like “in the wink of an eye”, grim reaper intervened and snuffed the life out of Jose Gomez.

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This is it for now. Have a nice week everyone! Ciao!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Music Man of Samar

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another weekend. Yes, today’s title was inspired by the late Maestro Jose Gomez. And before anything else, it’s nice to note that we will all be into a long weekend. Now a question, are all Filipinos aware why we will be into a long weekend? (Suddenly I miss PGMA and those Monday holidays). Anyway, thanks to our heroes and Eidl Fitr most of my friends will be Out of Calbayog City until Tuesday (hmm, that line sound familiar)

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Let me give you something to smile about this week: Robinson’s is coming to Calbayog. It’s official, by that I mean the LGU has received a communication from Robinson’s Land Corporation (RLC) and that it is “contemplating the development of a first-class shopping center in Calbayog.” Consistent with the RLC mission to provide the public with an excellent shopping experience, the proposed project will feature a full-service mall that will include the various Robinson’s retail store, popular shops and restaurants, and several entertainment facilities.

More details in my forthcoming columns.

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Here is the continuation of the article on Jose Gomez, the Music Man of Samar. As I have earlier mentione, the late Jose Gomez was honored during the 1st Bahandi Samarnon Awards. I got this material from Carl Bordeos of CKC. Here’s the second part:

The Cecilian Band. The coming of Patria Ortega (later on Mrs. Angelo Consunji) from Sta. Isabel Conservatory of Music in Manila, became the rallying point for local music enthusiasts like Pablo Rueda, Crispulo Madolaria and Jose Gomez, to name a few. They decided to organize a band called ‘Cecilian’ after Saint Cecilia, the Patron of Music.”

“On April 11, 1927, at the age of 16, Jose composed ‘Mirza’. He sent it to Malaquias Nonato, then the famous bandleader of the Hongkong-based Philippine International Band. However, the composition was returned to him with suggestions for improvement. Dejected and depressed, this caused the young Jose to refuse taking his meals for weeks. After he gathered his senses, he took the incident as a lifelong challenge.”

“When Patria (Ortega) got married, the Cecilians disbanded. Jose went to Cebu to try his luck. His primary motive for the move was to learn orchestration. Within a week, he landed the job as pianist in the place of Metring Ilaya at the Cebu Blues.”

“When the owner of the orchestra noticed his musical talents, he was given the full freedom to compose, arrange and conduct his compositions. This time he wrote ‘Phantom of the Blues’, ‘An Kabu’ (better known as ‘Awit San Cecilians’), ‘Dreamy Moon’ and ‘Love At Last’. With his savings, he was able to purchase an alto saxophone.”

“After three years in Cebu, his mother, concerned about his future, requested him to return home. Upon his return to Calbayog, he was told to pack for Manila for further studies. The proposal did not appeal to Jose. Instead, he revived the Cecilian. He found the membership of the band almost intact with the exception of Adriano Castillo, the drummist who had moved to Iloilo with his sister. Jose became the Cecilian’s bandleader.”

The woman who held him helplessly. Jose went places in Samar and Leyte with his well-known Cecilian Band. During performances, he held the audience, especially the women spellbound with his ubiquitous clarinet. But only one woman held him helplessly. It was Francisca Soriano Lazaro, a young teacher at the San Policarpo Elementary School. Francisca was from Sta. Cruz, Manila. She was brought to Calbayog in 1932 by a relative.”

“They were married on March 28, 1936. This union was blessed with seven children – four boys and three girls. They are Cecilia, Antonio, Mariano, Virginia, Manuel and Remegio.”

World War II. Because he demonstrated leadership in the community, Jose was appointed as Assistant Supervisor for Civilian Defense of District One of Calbayog City. He later became the Chief Deputy Municipal Air Raid Warden.”

“At the beginning of 1942, he was inducted by Capt. Mariano Lim as secret operative of the guerilla movement. On March, he closely monitored and investigated the stream of evacuees coming into Samar from Manila via Legaspi. On June, he was formally inducted into the USAFFE and was given the assignment of organizing the Secret Service Operations in the Calbayog area. He organized two communication points from Calbayog to the guerilla camp in Malaga and another relay point from Migara to Catarman. Before Christmas he was given another assignment to destroy the Labuyao bridGe mn order to cut the supply line of the Japanese between Calbayog and Oquendo. During this operation, his sole support was Corporal Pedro Cano and one Enfield rifle.”

The Musician-Guerillas. At this point, Jose was to make a special contribution to the guerilla activity by joining with it his gift for making music. Using his persuasive logic, he moved the entire Cecilian Band to join the guerillas.”

“In early February 1945, he went to the left river of Oquendo with the band members to entertain and to build up the morale as well as to disseminate allied information to the civilian population. On March of the same year, under the very noses of the Japanese, he was once again stationed in Calbayog to gather information on enemy movements. A Lt. Soliman called him to a meeting and on May, he was ordered to report to the headquarters of the 98th Regiment of the 93rd Division of the AUSA in Brgy. Kalagundi-an. On July 16th, he was called into active duty with the rank of probationary 3rd Lieutenant and was assigned to conduct the said division.” (to be continued)

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Wedding Bells. Justin Justina and Ethel Bendanillo will get married tomorrow. Fr. Iluminado Paulino will preside over the wedding mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. Fr. James Roa, the Medical Director of St. Camillus Hospital will deliver the homily. Reception will be held at the Ballroom of Ciriaco Hotel.

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This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Friday, August 19, 2011


(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another weekend. Yes, today’s title was inspired by the recent controversy about some supposedly work of art. And this is also a continuation of the Bahandi Samarnon award in my Alma Mater Christ the King College

But first this which blew me away: an online campaign for Ernie and Bert to get married? Just what got into their minds?

And that art show at the CCP. What freedom of expression? It’s not a matter of freedom of expression. It’s regulating one’s freedom of expression. Okey, it’s a government agency, but 70% of those who financed it are Catholics. Ok, while we are into it, maybe the artist would like to consider coming up with similar work which will distort the images of Mohammad, Buddha, the Dalai Lama and other great religious leaders. I am no art connoisseur, but I do not disagree with F. Sionil Jose when he said “It isn’t art” when he referred to that CCP display which caused this much brouhaha.

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Book Launching. The CKC Community will be hosting the launching of two new books by Fr. Antonio Maria Rosales, OFM. The books entitled “The Jesus’ Letters” and “My Son, Francis” will be launched at 3:00 pm tomorrow at the Frs. David and Leopold Auditorium at Christ the King College.

The CKC President Fr. Mar Tubac and the author Fr. Tony will deliver their respective messages. The CKC VP for Academic Affairs Dr. Florita Calesa will present her review on “The Jesus’ Letters” while Mr. Venancio Bajet, the Dean of the College of Teacher Education will deliver present a review on “My Son, Francis”.

The event will capped by cocktails and a performance of the CKC Youth Chamber Orchestra.

* * *

As I have earlier mentioned in this column, the late Jose Gomez was honored during the 1st Bahandi Samarnon Awards. I thought I’d like to share some materials about the man which I got from Carl Bordeos. Here’s the first part:

“An American SVD Father referred to him as ‘The Music Man of Samar’ in a published article in the Leyte-Samar Studies journal of the Divine Word University (of Tacloban
City. An admirer was quoted to have referred to him as an ‘Immortal Communicator of the sweetest sounds’ to Calbayognons and Samarenos. A cultural worker called him a ‘genius’”

“Whatever accolade we may give to the most prolific composer of Samar songs, lest we forget, Jose Cinco Gomez was a Maestro, a fitting title to a great and humble man who consecrated his life to give every Calbayognon and Samareno music and pride.”

“Born on February 27, 1911 in Barrio Tabuk (now Obrero) of Calbayog City, Jose was the eldest among the seven children of Licarion Gomez and Benigna Cinco. His siblings were Conrado, Ricardo, Angeles, Josefa, Francisca and Trinidad.”

“He took his elementary and one year in high school at the Colegio De San Vicente De Paul (CSVP now Christ the King College. Formal education stopped for Jose in high school, but the process of informal education continued.”

“In his autobiography, he claimed that he was ‘interested in music since he was a child’ and was very much influenced by his father, brothers and sisters who often met together to have a family concert.”

“Both of his parents had musical training. His father while studying Surveying at Ateneo Municipal once conducted the Ateneo Band. His mother studied at the La Concordia College. It was his father’s hobby to play the piano after each working day, and the young Jose would tinker on the ivory keys. Seeing interest in music, Licarion provided him with a tutor, Sofio Camilon and further exposure came when he played at the CSVP as a banjo-playing character.”

“He once worked industriously at mastering an instrument that he borrowed from his cousin Antonio Gomez. Since the instrument lacked the pads for stopping the air, he experimented with many different kinds of materials as substitute for commercial pads. One of his solutions was to use animal skin. In order to keep the skin soft it had to be repeatedly immersed in water. So the young musician played with a pail of water at his side in which he would periodically dip the entire instrument. With his brother, he learned to prepare home-made bamboo reeds for the saxophone.”

“His interest expanded to musical arrangement and he pursued it with the aid of an old family victor phonograph. To identify the arrangement of each instrument on a particular recorded selection, he had his brother Conrado hold the adjustment lever of the phonograph to maintain the ‘slow’ speed while he took notes of his observations on paper.” (to be continued)

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This is it for now. Let m leave you with something to ponder about this weekend. From Harvey Fierstein: “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”

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Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wazup CKC?

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s a new week. Forget about our new Senator who promised to be into things Mindanao. How I wish one day we could come up with someone who would say that in his list of priorities would be the concerns of the voters, err people from Eastern Visayas. I have saved my usual acerbic comments on the world around me for my forthcoming columns. Today, it’s going to be about CKC.

Two columns ago, I mentioned about my alma mater Christ the King College and what’s currently being done by the new College President.

Today I have decided to feature the 10-point Road Map towards formulating the CKC Educational Life Project for SY 2011 – 2013. This was synthesized from the "Go and Teach” Franciscan Education General Guidelines 2009, by the Secretariat of Education in Rome. This was also a part of Fr. Mar Tubac’s speech during his installation as CKC President.

Here’s an enumeration of the 10 points which is expected to serve as guide for the CKC community in the years to come.

  1. That the first challenge for Franciscan Education today is how to offer the youth with clarity, creativity and audacity a new framework of relations with God, nature, humanity and ourselves.
  2. That Franciscan Education is called to integrate in creation the following perspectives of the physical world: scientific, symbolic and religious. It offers a vision that makes it possible to understand the world not only as a natural place of human existence, but also as an expression of love, wisdom, power, greatness and beauty of God, a world in which it is possible to encounter God as the foundation, and our brothers and sisters, helping them feel welcome and loved.
  3. That Franciscan Education leads to a genuine “ecological conversion” and the true “environmental justice” based on the values of expropriation, respect and solidarity of the distribution of natural assets.
  4. That in Franciscan Education, Francis of Assisi is presented as a model of man who had reconciled with nature, with God, others and himself so much so that his greeting of “Pace et Bene”, “Peace and Good” has become a universal motto. Thus, the “spirit of Assisi” initiated by Pope John Paul II at the end of the 20th century, has dynamics of peace and dialogue among world religions, is an educated platform to educate to the horizontal level the value of peace which is the basis of a real and actual Christian humanism. Peace then, although is a gift of the Kingdom, is a task and a social responsibility of believers and all persons of goodwill.
  5. That Franciscan pedagogy or art of teaching develops the relationship with the God revealed by Jesus and lived by St. Francis. Therefore, it promotes a genuine and deep personal relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in an alliance of communion that takes the whole person, body, mind, heart and soul.
  6. That Franciscan Education offers adequate mediation to a pupil or a student in school so that he could be able to know his inner self accept it with serenity. This deep knowledge of self favors a genuine love for oneself and true self esteem that helps to avoid a situation that can lead to a narcissist or pessimistic and hostile situation towards self.
  7. That in students’ educational journey with teachers’ accompaniment, meeting and talking are the main mediations. This is a dialogue that involves the respected acceptance of the mystery of other person, trusted listening and emphatic understanding of each situation. It is a trust that will certainly grow with time and allows a clear discernment and a good evaluation of the different moments of the educational process.
  8. That Franciscan Charism is embodied “in the concrete reality of each culture and time in which we live”. Under this condition, Franciscan Education develops a harmonious and progressive process of various aspects that involve the concept of person as relation, oneness and integral unity. A process where a person has the leadership, the ultimate responsibility and decisive action of his own education.
  9. That Lay Teachers are primarily educators / formators and their educational work goes beyond simple transmission of knowledge. This awareness undertakes to guide the students toward truth and goodness by means of knowledge and the practice of human, Christian and Franciscan values, being faithful witnesses for them.
  10. That Franciscan Education, in order to articulate faith with culture, makes us of various educational means, among them of utmost importance are that Institution’s Educational life Project, on-going spiritual formation of educators, and the appropriate facilities of the entity that own this educational institution.

* * *

This is it for now. Have nice week everyone! Ciao!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Doing something good

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s a new week. And we are a month away to the Calbayog City fiesta. Nope, I was not thinking of “The Sound of Music” when I came up with today’s title. That’s what came to mind when I decided to devote today’s column to the Bahandi Samarnon Awards held recently at Christ the King College.

And my take on the recent (news) developments? So Koko is set for his oath as the new member of the Senate, or so said some news reports. Welcome to the club who are enthusiasts of everything investigatory. Oops, me and mouth!

* * *

The Bahandi Samarnon Awards. A good number of the members of the Gomez family were at the Frs. David and Leopold Auditorium at Christ the King College last Friday. They were on hand for the 1st Bahandi Samarnon Award.

The award committee headed by Dr. Francie Santos identified the late maestro Jose Gomez as the first recipient of the award. Jobart Gomez, a grandson of Jose Gomez was delivered the acceptance speech. I’ll feature that speech in this column next week.

In her welcome message, Dr. Santos informed the guests that the award aims to acknowledge the sons and daughters of Samar who have excelled in the field of the arts; and later, there will also be recognition for other fields.

Seen at the event were Fr. Marcelo Tubac, ofm, Mrs. Edita Paculan, Agueda and Intoy Chan, Pio Santos, Jerry Perol (of Metrobank Calbayog), Chat Gonzaga, among others. Also present was Fr. Marlowe Rosales, ofm who conducted the CKC Youth Symphony Orchestra who performed some Jose Gomez pieces.

* * *

Mayor Aquino was invited to deliver a message during the Awarding Ceremony. However an equally important engagement prevented him from making it to Calbayog in time for the program. He requested me to read his message parts of which I would like to share with you today:

“…the Franciscan community should be commended for this worthy but challenging undertaking. Achievement Awards are so many that it runs the risk of being a commonplace. But in this case, in the case of the Bahandi Samarnon Awards, it is nice to note to have a group of Samarnon acknowledge the achievements of their fellow Samarnon. It should not take outsiders to acknowledge what good there is that is being done in Samar. It should not take outsiders to acknowledge what great achievers, what great people there are in Samar. Before we look far and wide, let us look upon ourselves for examples worthy of emulation. There should be so many of them just lurking around.”

“Now a question: Where can this Award find its significance? In this world characterized by political bickering, economic difficulties and what have you, don’t you think we should be looking at how we can help alleviate or reduce the incidence of poverty, maintain peace and order and provide decent jobs to our fellowmen? And let us not even start discussing about caring for the environment. That almost sorry scenario is exactly where this Bahandi Samarnon Award will find its significance. This is exactly where this activity finds its proper place. This ceremony calls for us to be able to do something good; or at least to manifest our ability to do something good out of the dire conditions. This is manifested by the life of the first awardee which the award committee has selected for tonight. He serves as both an inspiration and a call to action.”

“Jose Cinco Gomez. No need to recall details about his life. No need to memorize the titles of his works. The name speaks for itself. But then, knowing his name and his person is not enough to honor to the man who has contributed much to the development of music in Samar.”

“It is proper that we honor Jose Gomez. It is proper that we respect the works of Jose Gomez. But after taking a close look at the life story of this man, he deserves more than just us memorizing the lyrics of “Calbayog”; more than just us tapping to the vibrant beat of “Kamote”; and more than just us being familiar with lively tunes of his Samareno folk songs. The life and times and the works of Jose Gomez tell us two things: to be proud of our heritage; and to cultivate the hero in each of us. The times might have changed, but the call for us to be of service to our fellowmen and to be good sons and daughters of Samar remains. Like Jose Gomez, let us look beyond our mundane concerns in life. We have our own capabilities and abilities that can make a difference. Nobody among us is too small so as not to be able to do something for our beloved Samar.”

* * *

Greetings: Happy Birthday Congressman Mel Sarmiento. He will turn a year older on Thursday.

* * *

This is it for now. Let me give you something to think about this weekend. It’s from Plato: “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”

* * *

Have a nice week everyone! Ciao!

Friday, August 5, 2011

On Jose Gomez and Christ the King College

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another weekend. And what do we have? Forget about Bedol and Garci. Surely Senator Migz is still the news. As expected, he got cheers and jeers for his decision. Well, what’s our world without them? Anyway, let’s wait what’s next for the upper chamber with Koko Pimentel, more investigations and what have you coming up.

* * *

There will be a special event at Christ the King College today. It’s the Bahandi Samarnon Award. Conceptualized by the Franciscan community, the award is an undertaking guided by this vision:

“Guided by the Gospel values, the Bahandi Samarnon Award engenders a Christian community that celebrates humanity towards a better Samar.” The award has as its mission the commitment to honor Samarnons with noble contributions, inspiring and empowering the people of Samar especially the youth to selfless endeavors and developing sense of patriotism, thus recognizing component and ethical individuals who integrate faith, life and culture for the advancement of Samar. The first awardee to be honored (posthumously) is Jose Cinco Gomez. Here’s some info on the awardee as contained in the program flyers:

“On his centenary, Jose Cinco Gomez deserves a grateful celebration from his fellow Samarnons. The eldest among seven children, he was born on February 27, 1911. His parents were Mr. Licarion Gomez and Ms. Benigna Cinco.”

During World War II, he was one of those who fought for our freedom. As a result, his three sister were tortured and killed in Catarman, Northern Samar on March 7 – 9, 1944. He expressed his loss in a heart- breaking composition ‘In The Wink Of an Eye’. He also wrote 'An Kamote’ as that rootcrop saved many families from starvation during the war years.”

“Considered as one of the greatest composers of Samar folk music, he has written approximately 5,000 songs which he compiled in his ‘Shower of Musical Thoughts’.”

“Famous among his compositions is ‘Calbayog’, a song dedicated to his birthplace. It was written on August 5, 1955. Today, every Calbayognon proudly sing this composition after it was adopted as the local anthem of Calbayog City.”

Today’s awarding ceremony which will be held at 4:00 pm today at the Frs. David and Leopold Memorial Auditorium is a three-part affair. It begins with opening of the Exhibit on the Jose c. Gomez Memorabilia. The awarding proper will include performances by the Christ the King College Youth Symphony Orchestra. Speeches will be delivered by Dr. Francisca Santos (the Chair of the Bahandi Samarnon Award Committee), Mayor Ronaldo Aquino and CKC President Fr. Marcelo Tubac, ofm. A representative of the Gomez family will deliver an acceptance message. The event will be capped by a cocktail reception.

* * *

Still with Christ the King College. Good news to my fellow Christi Regians. The venerable institution experienced higher enrolment rate this semester. I’ll give you details in my next column.

I recently received a copy of the Institutional Memorandum which Fr. Mar Tubac issued for the Christ the King College community. It’s the 10-point Road map towards formulating CKC Educational Life Project for School Year 2011-2013. There are many points worth noting in that road map. And I will be featuring these in my forthcoming columns. For a “teaser” let me give you points number one and number two:

  1. “That the first challenge for the Franciscan education today is how to offer the youth with clarity, creativity and audacity a new framework of relations with God, humanity and ourselves.”
  2. That Franciscan education is called to integrate in creation the following perspectives of the physical world: scientific, symbolic and religious. It offers a vision which makes it possible to understand the world not only as the natural place of human existence, but also as an expression of love, wisdom, power, greatness and beauty of God, a world in which it is possible to encounter god as the foundation, and our brothers and sisters, helping them feel welcomed and loved.”

* * *

This is it for now. Let me leave you with something to think about this weekend. From Henry Ford: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

* * *

Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The way a mother cares for her only sick child

Hi there! It’s another weekend. And today’s title? That’s to underscore the 15th anniversary celebration of the St. Camillus Hospital in Calbayog City. It was the theme of the said celebration.

So, PNoy has delivered his second SONA. And my take on it? I’d rather that I let the experts, the feeling expert, the politicians, the grandstanders, the kibitzers and the like do the criticism. It’s their job, or should I say that’s what they are being paid to do, oops, me and my mouth. I’d rather focus on the red carpet moments. And surely they did not disappoint. Etta Rosales was correct in saying that it was a formal, big event. And that proper attire was the call of the day. But then, what do you say about those who looked like walking flower pots or vases with their colorful attire, accessories and what have you. And let’s not even start discussing about the jewelries and perfumes worn that day.

PNoy said a lot for a 53-minute speech. And certainly, PNoy was not campaigning when he said something like panahon na ngayon ng pagkakaisa, and the call to thank those who extend service in the government. What do you think? Or as one college professor (with a doctorate degree) in Calbayog had it, what is your think?

* * *

The Linis-Estero Program of Calbayog City will be launched today. It will be held at the Nijaga Park with the City Officials and various government and private offices and NGOs in attendance. This activity is an initial step aimed at cleaning and rehabilitating the Calbayog River.

* * *

Milestones. Congratulations to the Camillian community in Calbayog City. They celebrated the 15th anniversary of the St. Camillus Hospital last July 14, 2011. The day was highlighted by the Thanksgiving Mass presided over by Bishop Isabelo Abarquez.

A good number of Calbayognons are familiar with that story about how a bottle of wine resulted in having the hospital erected in Calbayog City.

In his speech (which I read for him), Mayor Ronaldo Aquino recalled that story and some of his recollection regarding the opening of the hospital. Here are some parts of his speech:

“... if my memory serves me right, I was the officer-in-charge when the hospital was inaugurated. Mrs. Imelda Marcos was among the VIPs present. Weeks after the inauguration, I welcomed the Ambassador and Fr. Galvani at the Mayor’s Office. Most of you must be very familiar with that wine story. Word has it that then Bishop Maximiano Cruz was trying to get some info on what wine to serve to the Papal Nuncio Gian Vincenzo Moreni who was slated to visit the Diocese of Calbayog. Enter Fr. Luigi Galvani, add in the late Msgr. Basilio Rosales and his sister Manuela, and we had the Camillians to Calbayog and then, this hospital. Certainly, that search for the correct wine has come a long way in serving the people of Calbayog and the people of Samar.”

“Tonight’s anniversary celebration is but proper. It’s time to pause and thank the Almighty. In our case, we thank Him for this ‘gift of the Camillian community in Calbayog’. It’s time for you to look at how much good you have offered to the people in the community you are in. And as you do that, do ponder upon the long road ahead, that road characterized by more service to the people. And yes, for you, the St. Camillus Hospital to have existed this long, you must be certainly doing something good.”

“But more than the stories and the socials and trivia attached with the history of the hospital, there is one important aspect that one has to look into – that through the years St. Camillus Hospital has cared for the poor-sick of Calbayog ‘the way a mother cares for her only sick child’. The Local Government Unit of Calbayog can attest to that. The hospital has become one of our partners in our effort to answer the health needs of the less-fortunate Calbayognons.”

“As we salute you on your anniversary, we look forward to more years of fruitful partnerships with St. Camillus Hospital and the Camillian community…”

* * *

Mang Inasal formally opened its branch in Calbayog. Congressman Mel Sarmiento and Mayor Ronald Aquino led the list of guests invited to event.

* * *

Wedding Bells. Oliver Abrigo of and Janice Obong of Sta. Margarita will get married tomorrow. Msgr. Francisco Cinco III will preside over their wedding mass at the St. James the Greater Parish Church in Sta. Margarita.

* * *

This is it for now. Let me give you something to think about this weekend. It’s from Erich Fromm: “Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air , is not worth all the sufferings and effort which life implies.”

* * *

Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Coming out

Hi there! It’s another weekend. Nope, today’s column has nothing to do with coming out, like closet gays and what have you going out in the open. How I wish I could write something about it soon. Let me rephrase that, I will write about it soon. Anyway, today’s title is more like literally coming out like Lintang and Zaldy.

So Lintang Bedol is out. While I don’t like his getup (the bullet proof vest, plaid shirt and shades) I do like his opening statement when he greeted everyone, “Hi! Kumusta kayo?” And I was like, showbiz?

And Zaldy Ampatuan too. He’s out of his cell and enjoying the comfort of a hospital bed. My take? Ahh, some guys have all the luck. Put it there.

* * *

The City Government of Calbayog will be spearheading the inauguration of the Calbayog Sanitary Landfill Project. The event has been set at 9:00 a.m. today. Invited to the affair are DENR Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje, Congressman Mel Senen Sarmiento and National Solid Waste Management Commission Executive Director Emelita Aguinaldo, among others.

The Calbayog Sanitary Landfill Project is located in Barangay Dinagan, Oquendo District. The project was made possible through a grant from the Japanese Government. It has an area of 4.7 ha. for the lot and 1.7 ha. for the Design Landfill area. This is equipped with aerobic Sanitary Landfill facilities with a volume of 130,000 cubic meters and 180,000 cubic meters for the Landfill and earth cover.

* * *

The Western Samar Development Foundation (WESADEF) and the Japanese Embassy hosted the inauguration of the WESADEF Women Resource Center (WRC) in Barangay Rawis, Calbayog City yesterday.

Present during the affair were Japanese Embassy officials namely Economic Affairs Minister Akio Isomata and Third Secretary Shigehiro Matsuda.

In his message, Mayor Ronald Aquino thanked the Japanese government for the help it has extended to both WESADEF and the City Government of Calbayog. He cited the various grants / assistance which the Japanese Government extended to Calbayog which included among others, the technical assistance for the Sanitary Landfill Project, the Materials Recovery Facility in Barangay Payahan, and various office facilities for the Solid Waste Management Office.

Mayor Aquino also acknowledged the WESADEF as one of the LGU’s active partners in governance. He cited the new WRC as a facility which will go a long way in helping WESADEF’s clients who are beneficiaries of their various programs like the ones aimed at curbing the abuse of women not only in Calbayog but also from San Jorge and Sta. Margarita, as well as clients from the island towns near Calbayog.

The City Mayor also said that while the city aims for projects and programs meant to attract investors and to put in place an urbanized city where there is vibrant business and job opportunities, the city also needs partners like the WESADEF in its effort to combat the perennial problems on child and women abuse, human trafficking, among others; as well as advocacies on the care for the environment, youth development and literacy program.

* * *

Milestones. Congratulations to Mr. Marvin De La Cruz, Calbayog’s new CPA. The JPIA-Calbayog and Christ the King College tendered a Testimonial Dinner for him on Thursday last week.

Happy Birthday to Mrs. Mary Basco – Fulgencio. She will turn a year older today.

* * *

Let me leave you with something to think about this weekend. From Tom Bodett: “The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Bishop’s advice

Hi there! It’s a new week. So, it’s Migz and Koko again, thanks to Mr. Ampatuan (laglagan na!). Let me see, it’s 2011, and we have two more years before the next election, that’s two years remaining for the term that they are fighting over, they could have settled for a term-sharing early on (Smile! It’s a new week).

Still on Zaldy Amaptuan. The Former governor revealed that ex-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was involved in the election fraud in Maguindanao in 2007. Likewise, he revealed that Jose Rizal was killed by the Spanish; the Earth revolves around the sun, and John Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman. Apparently, Zaldy Ampatuan wants to turn state witness. Against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Zaldy Ampatuan has initiated court proceedings to change his last name. He is seeking a little compassion and empathy from the public. Hopefully, the judge would grant his petition to use the surname Mangudadatu. (oops, this paragraph came from The Professional Heckler. Check his site).

* * *

As I have reported in this column, Fr. Marcelo Tubac was recently installed as the Third President of Christ the King College. Among the highlights of the fraternal agape was the speech of Bishop Isabelo Abarquez. I asked permission from the good bishop to feature parts of his speech in today’s column:

“ . . . I congratulate the men and women who make up the Christ the King College – keepers of the standard of excellence that this great institution has always symbolized.
At this juncture, may I invite you to reflect on Knowledge and Virtue, Faith and Reason. Education cannot be the mere accumulation of knowledge. Knowledge must the directed towards formation in virtues, just as virtue must dispose the seekers to the acquisition of more knowledge.

In this modern day and age, there has been an ever – widening dichotomy between knowledge and virtue. The age of information has led to progress in communications technology. Yet, while distance and time have become foreshortened to turn the world into global village, the village has fallen short of becoming a true Christian community. Instead of greater understanding between and among peoples, there is now an increased sense of insecurity and animosity.

Let us not allow ourselves to be deceived. Knowledge without virtue is mere technique and information. We do not need to attend college to learn technique and get information. We can learn technique from manuals. Television can give us the information we need. Unless an institution of learning, like Christ the King College, can show its ability to form its students in virtue, it is nothing but a diploma mill. If all a college does is cram its students full of knowledge- no matter how to up-to-date – without forming them in virtue, it is only producing mindless and artless citizens- persons capable of counting but not valuing, of comprehending but not understanding, of communicating but not engaging in dialogue.

This, then, is my challenge for you today as leading institution of learning in the Diocese of Calbayog. “Duc in Altum” meaning “Put out into the deep”. Turn this college into not just an institution of learning but also into venue of information.

I challenge you then, who are working in this venerable institution: be witness of the Christ the King. Let His kingship reign in your hearts and families, let His kingship reign in your classrooms and offices, les His kingship reign in this community and campus and let His kingship reign in our City, Province and Diocese.

As you begin again another school year, may I invite you to examine your Catholic faith. Do not rely more on reason, faith and reason are not contrary faculties. Faith and reason are the two wings that enable the mind to soar towards the truth. It is characteristic of young people to search for meaning. It is the duty of a Catholic College to provide such meaning without making it less of a discovery for the young. Religious is being taught in this catholic College as one of the courses a student is required to take. Faith however, cannot be given or taken as a course answering to a number of credits or units. It can only be transmitted. Take care therefore that religion is taught only by men and women of genuine faith. If you cannot find enough people to qualify, do it yourselves. And, if perchance you do not find enough faith in yourselves, let your students teach you, for I know that in the rough-and-trouble of the classrooms, there are young men and women whose faith needs only the proper and encouragement. Pay attention therefore - pay much attention - to your campus ministry, for what cannot be taught in the classroom may be experienced outside of it.

I therefore ask Fr. Mar and the other OFM Fathers to make the education given here a real synthesis between faith and reason, between knowledge and virtue, and between industry and service.

During our Ad Limina visit to Rome, I visited several decasteries and Pontifical Commissions. One of the decasteries that we, Bishops, had visited was the Congregation for Catholic Education. During our meeting with the Cardinal Prefect of this particular decastery, the Cardinal told us, “provide and maintain the Catholic identity of our Catholic Schools, Colleges and Universities”. Then nagpapadayon siya pagsering, “if in the name of academic freedom, some professors may teach teachings that are not in conformity with our Catholic faith then do something for it is also our right to maintain the catholic identity of our schools”.

Fr. Mar, bring out the Catholic character of this college, because I firmly believe that the Church has so much to offer society. While the Church has often been painted by its critics as the enemy of knowledge, a sober assessment of its legacy will bear out the inestimable contribution of the Church to the progress of civilization and culture.

Fr. Mar this is your task and this, too, is your challenge. And once you accept it with faith, you will be able to lift and even carry it. The yoke of Christ the King will not crush you. It will carry you. The light of Christ the King will not blind you. It will make your vision definitely clear.”

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice week everyone! Ciao!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July

Hi there! This was supposed to be for last Monday, but I didn’t make it in time for the 4th of July edition when the people of the U.S. of A celebrated their Independence Day. Anyway, here I go this weekend. Yes, I’m still wondering where my invitation to the American Embassy reception is. (Smile! Just wanna make you smile today) It’s the history buff in me again. I understand we used to celebrate Independence Day on July 4, thanks to our – as old folks would have it - American brothers, you know that supposedly special relationship and the like between the U.S. and PH (I wonder, how the descendants of Uncle Sam would refer to us. Their brown little brother perhaps?). Anyway, that day used to be Philippine Independence Day until then President Macapagal (nope not PGMA, just in case you’d ask) decided that it had to be June 12, and the rest is well, independence day history. Anyway there was a time when the 4th of July was referred to as Philippine-American Friendship Day. I checked the calendars in the past few years, there was no more mention of the day as such. Thanks goodness. What friendship? If that friendship day is a holiday, well that would be a different story.

Does that friendship explain why the U.S. pledged to help PH in case of any attack? Thanks to China and the Spratlys. Oops, I think help is not the word, lease is more like it. And needless to say, war is business. Yup, it’s the one which means earning money.

So, PNoy recently marked his first year in office. As expected critics and defenders were abound. Well, what’s Philippine politics without it? And my take on PNoy and governance? You should watch Evita, either that Ron Howard film or the Broadway version. There is that (famous) line in the scene wherein Eva Peron waltzes with the character of Che and that line goes something like “... problems from war to pollution, no hope of solution even if I live for one hundred years.” I agree with that, whoever will make as the country’s top honcho that person will never be able to solve the ills of the country. The critics and the defenders and the surveys and kibitzers notwithstanding. Seriously, the bottomline is, whoever will be on top, it will still take the people to make things happen. And by that I mean, if you are not doing your part, like paying correct taxes, obeying even simple traffice rules, you have no reason to fret.

And yes, it’s still about PNoy. It’s been a year. Suddenly I missed some personalities.Where could the 2010 presidentiables be now? Let me call the roll: John Carlos de los Reyes, Joseph Estrada, Richard Gordon, Jamby Madrigal, Nicanor Perlas, Gilbert Teodoro, Eddie Villanueva and Manuel Villar. I understand two or three of these personalities still had to issue statements that they have conceded to Noynoy Aquino.

If you are an avid viewer of ANC, you should be familiar with their AD which says about how their news team stood to do just that, give the news. I heard a very interesting twist on that: “Issues change, personalities vary, but some headlines remain: Manila flooded during typhoon. Students rally against tuition fee increase. Government official accused of graft and corruption. Oil prices go up.” ((Smile! It’s a new week!)

* * *

In my column last Friday, I mentioned about the implementation of the Non-Smoking in Calbayog. A task force has been formed to put into effect info campaign and similar activities in a good number of barangays. As I have earlier mentioned, there will be no arrests or penalties for violators at least in the next few months. There will be lectures and reminders to those who opt to violate the ordinance.

Ordinance No. 2011-10-018 prohibits smoking in public places, public conveyances, hospitals, schools, government offices and assembly areas. It was signed by the late Mayor Reynaldo Uy last April 13, 2011. It was sponsored by Councilors Raymund Uy with all the SP members as co-sponsors.

* * *

Obit. Mrs. Isabel Gomez-Hernandez was laid to rest last Saturday. She retuned to her creator on June 26, 2011. She was 104 years old.

Another centenarian recently passed away. Leona Molato-Alevario she returned to her creator at the age of 100.

* * *

Quote of the week. A friend of a friend of mine applied for a job in one of the banks in Calbayog. Ang siste daw is that the officer received the papers, looked at the applicant and then he supposedly uttered, “Di ka bagay dito, may pimple ka”. I never knew pimple can have grave effect affect on the performance of a bank worker. Yun lang!

* * *

This is it for now. Have nice week everyone! Ciao!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Random thoughts (na naman)

Hi there! It’s another weekend, and what’s with today’s title? Well, it’s like whatever comes to mind I write it, in other words, naghnubya na liwat ini nga writer. (Smile! It’s a Friday!)

This is the day! Yup, this is the day when the No-Smoking Ordinance of Calbayog will take effect. But smokers (read: would-be violators) don’t worry, violators will not be arrested or fined. They will be in for some lecturing and info drive about the ordinance, its penalties and yes, something about the ill of smoking.

Suddenly it occurred to me, (if my memory of my lessons serves me right) what if Christopher Columbus did not bother taking tobacco to Spain and present it in front of the King, will there be smokers? Oh well, I think globalization was already in the offing since the time of the great explorers. (Oops, don’t take that seriously, just wanna make you smile today)

* * *

Ahh Senator Miriam Santiago did it again! Nope, it’s not about her usual speeches in the senate or wherever, it’s her Ruby Wedding Anniversary. You must have noticed the interesting mix of controversial figures (how could you miss it with nosy reporters reporting it all over the place?). All colors - be it in politics or business - were there. And let’s not even start discussing the social and political butterflies hovering, err flying during the event. Hmm, for being able to put peace between warring factions for a few hours, maybe the good senator can be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (oops, that’s the idea I got from the Professional Heckler).

So PNoy did not bring goods for the Cotabato evacuees, or so said the politicians out there. Let me see. I understand the flooding was caused by the water hyacinth which grew at that Mindanao River ok, PNoy was three weeks late and (again) he did not bring goods. But I understand the water hyacinth did not just grow there, did they? I mean, what were they doing about those that it grew out of proportion and blocked the river? And then blame PNoy for bringing no relief goods. By the way, a good number of Filipinos are into some livelihood using water hyacinth. Maybe that news about it has not reached that area of the country.

And still about PNoy. News had it that some cabinet members are harbingers of bad news. It’s either they are really into things or news that are bad, or they are just being too honest with things when talking with the President. Peace!

* * *

Let me give you something to smile about this weekend. It’s something I got from The Professional Heckler. It’s his piece entitled “Makabagong Kasabihan” which he described as modern sayings & proverbs inspired by some famous people in politics and government:

Land Transportation Chief Virginia Torres: Magpakahaba-haba man ang suspension, sa LTO pa rin ang tuloy.

Cong. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: Ang taong nagigipit, nominado ang iniipit,

Former Batangas Governor Tony Leviste: Habang bayad ang mga pusa, naglalaro ang daga.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines: Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa obispo ang ngawa, mahihirap ang kawawa.

Incoming DOTC Sec. Mar Roxas: Naghangad ng kagitna, palasyo ang nawala.

Resigned DOTC Sec. Jose ‘Ping’ De Jesus: If you can’t stand the heat, quit the Cabinet.

Atty. Edwin Lacierda: Ang pumatol sa sira-ulo . . . (Basta)

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda: If you can’t beat them, boycott them!

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda: Matalino man ang matsing (basta matalino siya . . . )

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Friday, June 24, 2011

No Smoking

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another weekend. And what’s with today’s title? That’s to underscore the Calbayog City Ordinance which is to take effect a week from now: Ordinance No. 2011-10-018 aka An ordinance prohibiting smoking in public places, public conveyances, hospitals, schools, government offices and assembly areas. More details in my next column.

* * *

Rev. Fr. Marcelo Oliveros Tubac, OFM was installed as the Third President of Christ the King College last June 16, 2011.

Bishop Isabelo Abarquez presided over the Mass which preceded the Installation Ceremony at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral.

The Installation Ceremony was presided over by Rev. Fr. Roberto Bayaras, ofm, Custos of the Custody of St. Anthony of Padua. He was assisted by Dr. Francisca Santos, the College Registrar and Dr. Florita Calesa, the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The CKC Youth Symphony Orchestra provided the music service during the liturgical ceremony.

At the Fraternal Agape which was held at the Fr. David and Leopold Auditorium, messages were delivered by Bishop Isabelo Abarquez, Congressman Mel Sarmiento, Mayor Ronaldo Aquino and Rev. Fr. Roberto Bayaras, OFM.

* * *

In his message, Mayor Aquino commended Fr. Mar for his effort to make Christ the King College “shine again”. He also called on all Christi Regians to be one with the Fr. President in his programs and actions for CKC. Here are some parts of the Mayor’s speech:

“... I also hope that this occasion will serve to remind all of us to take pride in the fact that our alma mater is the oldest catholic school in Region 8. That fact is both good news and a challenge for our new President. I believe that he must have been fully-aware of this. Fr. Mar went to work many months ago. Proof to tell:

Aside from attending to the affairs of the school, Fr. Mar actively participated in the planning and holding of some alumni activities during the last quarter of year 2010. I was informed that he is in constant dialogue with the CKC personnel, making them fully-aware of the comings and goings of the school. And most importantly, he did what I believe his predecessors did not: he exerted efforts to get in touch – ONCE AGAIN – with the graduates of CKC. He urged and pleaded them to look back at their alma mater and to help in every way possible.

From our end at the LGU, Fr. Mar also exerted effort to be one of our active stakeholders. Foremost of this was his novel concept of LGU-CKC partnership which brought the CKC Youth Symphony Orchestra to some interior barangays of Calbayog. He also extended support with his suggestions for the 3-D Development Program of the City.

With a leader like that, we can’t ask for more. But I believe that he will be asking something from us: and that would be our cooperation; or at least being united with him in his efforts for this venerable learning institution; and one way or the other, for the City of Calbayog.
As a true-blue Christi Regian, I commit to helping the Fr. President in his endeavors to make (in his words) “Christ the King College shine again

And as the local chief executive of the City, we are committed to actively support all our partners whose programs are aimed at the betterment of our constituents and our city.

I call on everyone present to act as one for us to have once again the Christ the King College that many generations of Calbayognons are familiar with: a fountain of learning worthy to be proud of. A fountain of learning that Calbayog City will always be proud of.”

* * *

I recently met the former DOT Regional Director Norma Morante. She is now the Consultant on Tourism of the City of Tacloban. She represented Mayor Alfred Romualdez during the concert of the Christ the King College Youth Symphony Orchestra at Plaza Rizal.

* * *

Wedding Bells. Carlo Galang and Ervi Silvano will get married tomorrow. Their wedding mass will be held at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral with Fr. Iluminado Paulino as mass presider and Fr. Erwin Rodriguez as concelebrant. Their wedding reception will be held at the Calbayog Convention and Cultural Center.

* * *

Belated birthday greetings to Mr. Ciriaco “Tony” Tan. He turned 75 years old last Sunday. I hosted the program during birthday party which his family tendered for him at, where else – Ciriaco Hotel.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rizal. Na naman?

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s a new week. Nope, please don’t get offended by today’s title, just wanna catch your attention today.

First things first. The CKC - Jose Gomez Symphony Orchestra will be in Tacloban City tomorrow. They will have a concert at the Rizal Plaza at 7:00 pm.

* * *

Yes! It’s another holiday. Monday holidays seem to be a prized commodity during the administration of PNoy (smile! It’s a new week), that’s on top of the (sad?) fact (or reality, whichever comes first) that most legal holidays this year fall on Sundays. Anyway, Rizal’s birthday would have been just that – another birthday if not for the holiday declaration. But then, are all Filipinos really aware why they are free to extend their sleep today and not engage in the normal Monday morning rush of things to do? I suppose the “no” will get a higher percentage; and let’s not even start discussing “Why Rizal?”

But then, at the end of the day, thanks to Rizal, or should I say thanks to his 150th birthday, it seems like we were reminded of the contribution only of Rizal, but all the men and women, our heroes who helped shape our nation and plot its destiny. As to where this destiny is currently leading us, that’s another issue.

Now, don’t say that recalling the past is not your thing (that is something unhealthy). The reason for today’s holiday and the days reserved Bonifacio, for National Heroes’ Day and yes, the holiday two Sundays ago, all these remind us that heroism will never be a thing of the past. It is going to be a constant struggle for the good over bad (what’s the other word for that?). And as one TV network had it, there is a hero in each of us who can make things happen.

Back to Rizal, if only we can do away with romanticizing Rizal so much that he seemed too ideal. I think I got that line from Soc Sci professor at U.P. many years ago. You know like making a big story out of Rizal throwing away his slipper after its pair accidentally fell off the boat. And that the boy Rizal supposedly did it thinking that another (poor) boy might be able to pick up the pair and use it, or so the story went. It could have been simply a case of throwing away something which is already useless. Okey, it’s one very trivial matter and I’m just quoting my professor (oops, it suddenly occurred to me, she must have been into Bonifacio, you that Rizal-Bonifacio debate of old).

Of course, there are many other aspects of Rizal which we need to take a look at; and I suppose there are as many aspects of Rizal which we will never understand. And there are better means to introduce Rizal the hero and the human being. And that explains why I have some of Ambet Ocampo’s books.

Now, as to the haircut, and the string of girlfriends . . .

* * *

A week ago today, Mayor Ronald Aquino delivered his Independence Day message in front of the LGU employees. It was a call for unity and cooperation between the community and the LGU officials. Here are some parts of his speech:

Nanu an karuyag sidngun sini nga selebrasyon? And batun san akun paki-ana mao an pagsering nga ini nga selebrasyon naghahatag sa atuin sin higayun agud makapamalandung san mga leksyon ug inspirasyon san atun mga bayani, nga apesar san kakulang san ira kusog, sira umato agud hikaplaghan an atun katalwasan.”

“I guess the lessons that can be had are best summed up in two words: unity and perseverance.”

“And what does the Independence Day make of us Filipinos? I guess questions can serve as answers to that question. Are we free from economic difficulties? Are we free from foreign domination? Can we move freely in a world characterized by free trade? And for us here in Calbayog and Samar, are we free from the image that Samareños are pictured to be, that of people who are hard-up in an underdeveloped land?”

Kami nga iyo mga opisyales sa ciudad san Calbayog natoo nga an maupay nga ehemplo san ungod nga “independence” mao an katalwasan tikang san mga kakuri-an. Natu-o kami nga an amon pinakamaupay nga maipapadangat ngada san amon igkasi-Calbayognon san yana nga panahon sugad man san masunod pa nga henerasyon mao an usa nga ciudad nga progresibo, moderno, may-ada mga sementado nga sigad ngadto sa mga tay-aw nga barangay, ug labi na gud an pagkamay-ada kahimyangan."

Ini nga mga larang matutuman la kun may-ada pagka-urosa. Pinaa-agi sini nga okasyon, akun guin hahangyu an atun pagka-urosa para san atun mahal nga ciudad san Calbayog.”

Mayor Aquino also quoted some lines from the 1998 Centennial Prayer:

“May we realize that the Independence Day celebration finds significance not only in the floats, the presentations and the costume, the parades and the ceremonies, but in the realization that freedom is best celebrated when we see all Filipinos free from the chains of economic difficulties, non-ownership and control of the tools of production especially land; and extreme political divisiveness.”

“May our yearly independence day celebration serve to tell us that the Filipino has only his fellowmen to share the glory and honor that he will reap out of the unity aimed for the betterment in all aspects of the life of the common man.”

* * *

The Sister of Mary Consoltarix of the Eucharist will be celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Consolation today.

Bishop Isabelo Abarquez will preside over the Eucharistic Celebration at the Consoltatrix Monastery in Barangay San Policarpo at 9:00 a.m. today.

The Mass will also be offered in thanksgiving for the 25 years of religious life of Sister Mary Francis of the Paraclete, MCE.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice week everyone. Ciao!

Friday, June 17, 2011

In Dependence

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s nice to be back! Sorry to miss you the past six weeks.

So it’s back to school. Together with the usual and not unexpected problems on the lack of classrooms, chairs and teachers were the images of kids displaying their separation anxiety with their parents during their first day in school. On the local front, meaning in our beloved city, I still have to hear about lack of school buildings and/or rooms. On the other hand, the expected traffic brought about by the pd-cabs, motorbikes and cars in the various school gates are familiar sights again. And looking a little bit further, in some schools, it’s time (again) for some students to meet various kinds of teachers. Count among them those who opined that the EDSA revolution was nothing but a “costume party” wherein men and women were made to wear costumes so as to appear as nuns and priests and to make the revolution appear just like that, a revolution supported by the church. Well, that story blew me away the first time I heard it. And let me also count in someone who gave a brand of sparkling juice as an example of wine in their wine app (?) class. Now, do I have to recall that classic line like “what is your think?” and such exotic pronunciations like “sinet” for senate, “kungris” for congress and “kuurdinet” for coordinate? Oops, don’t take that seriously, just wanna make you smile this week.

* * *

As with the rest of the nation, Calbayog celebrated the 113th Philippine Independence Day last Sunday. Events for the day included a Thanksgiving Mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, Flag-raising Ceremony at the Calbayog City Hall and a Wreath-laying Ceremony at the Rizal monument at Nijaga Park.

After last Monday’s flag-raising ceremony, Mayor Ronald Aquino delivered his Independence Day message in front of the LGU employees. I’ll give you some highlights from the message in my next column.

* * *

A tale of two celebrations. Pentecost and Independence Day fell on the same day this year. I think there is a common denominator between the two. It’s the word “birth”. The former being the birth of the Church and the latter, which we usually connote as the birth of a nation, the Filipino nation.

With all due respect to my faith, I understand we’ve been asking the Lord to send forth his spirit to renew the face of the earth. Well, if it’s the literal renewal that we have in mind, there is so (or was) much renewal – nakakalbong kagubatan, soil erosion, flooding, and what have you. Otherwise, don’t ask me if men have heeded the call for renewal called for by the Almighty. It’s been years since the Church was born. Is it time to give up? Definitely not. But I do love that fictional character called Cardinal Lamberto in the movie Godfather III. And If I may rephrase one his lines, “Men (in Europe) have been surrounded by the Church for the past so many centuries. But Christ has not penetrated their hearts.” I guess the same thing can be said about of a good number of the faithful in many parts of the globe, us in the land of Juan De La Cruz included.

RP or PH or PHL is 113 years old. Where are we now? I could still remember some old folks whining, albeit with a smile, that our former leaders should not have called for independence (from the Americans) but opted for American statehood. Now that would be a very interesting story. Suddenly I remember that guy who ran against Marcos during the 1981 election. That guy ran on a platform which called for the statehood of the Philippines. If it was a serious election, do you think that guy could have won?

Back to my topic. For the past few years, I’ve had “In Dependence” as the title for my column each time Independence day comes. Today it’s no longer freedom from the foreign invaders, China’s bullying notwithstanding, but it’s freedom from economic difficulties.

* * *

It has been 48 days since Mayor Reynaldo Uy was assassinated. So far, no update as of yet as to the perpetrators of the crime.

* * *

Congratulations to Rev. Fr. Marcelo Tubac, ofm. He will be formally installed today as the third President of Christ the King College.

Bishop Isabelo Abarquez will preside over the Mass which will be held at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral at 8:00 am. After the installation ceremonies, a Fraternal Agape will follow at the Frs. David and Leopold Auditorium. The day’s event will be capped by a Solidarity Night at the Julio Cardinal Rosales Technical Grounds at the CKC campus.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Random Thoughts

Hi there! It’s nice to be back. So what do we have? Let’s not talk about the renewal brought about by the Lenten Season, it’s the same case with the seasonal kindness and generosity that many of us (me included) are into during Christmas. Let’s look at the oil companies are blaming Libya for the rollercoaster ride that pump prices are into the past so many days. Like it’s only Libya that supplies us with oil? And as with the previous Labor Day observances, the labor sector is once again clamoring for wage hike. And then, there’s William and Kate.

So Prince William is getting married today to “a commoner but certainly from a family with means”. Or as one reporter had it, to someone from a non-aristocratic family but certainly a family of means. In other words to a rich girl. No question about it. Suddenly it occurred to me, a few years ago some articles had it that the chattering ladies (read: aristocratic or royals) of Europe are complaining about royals marrying commoners, that the royal blue blood of Europe is being diluted. Ah, what an existence. What if on top of their issues on blue blood being diluted they also have problems that many of us are into: rising fuel prices, low wages and unemployment? I guess that explains why the interest on the wedding, like some sort of a diversion from the harsh realities of life? Or plain and simple entertainment perhaps? Oh! What am I saying? Who wouldn’t like fairy tales?

Now as to whether the marriage will last, let’s start counting after Kate has given William two sons – the heir and the spare.

* * *

And what do you think these oil companies are doing? I dunnow the answer. Anything that has to do with numbers and economics simply make me throw up. Thanks to them, suddenly there are these “populist” programs about giving smart cards or assistance to the drivers and the like. No problem about it. But what does that make of the majority of us, the fixed income earners who pay taxes and are also affected by high fuel prices? I hope you see my point. I think I do not disagree with Dr. Benjamin Diokno when he said that those in charge of the economy should look further.

* * *

Going beyond Earth Hour. It’s never too late to report any good news. During the last Earth Hour event in Calbayog, Mayor Reynaldo Uy signed Executive Order (EO) No. 13. That E.O. enjoined all Calbayognons especially the business sector to observe the “No Cellophane No Plastics Weekend in Calbayog”. So far so good. That said EO received good feedbacks. The local stores did observe it. Some local bakeries went further, they have opted to pack their bread products in paper bags even on weekdays.

For its part the Sangguniang Panlungsod passed a resolution which enjoined all Calbayognons to make Earth Hour a nightly undertaking. More details on that resolution next issue.

* * *

Local events. Patrun buwas sa Barangay San Policarpo, the biggest barangay in Calbayog City.

Last Monday, Barangay Obrero celebrated its Charter Day. Events included a Thanksgiving Mass, Mass Wedding, Medical Mission and a sports fest.

The Calbayog East Central School (CECS) will have its 2nd Grand Alumni Homecoming on May 7. The event will be held at the CECS grounds. This year’s homecoming will be hosted by Batches 1970, 1971 and 1972.

* * *

The Social Scene. Belated Greetings to Arvee Najaro and Mae Ann Salazar. They got married last April 4. Their wedding was held at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Reception was at the Ballroom of Ciriaco Hotel.

Aya Lontao Nagata turned 18 last April 16. Her mom Berlita Lontao – Nagata tendered a coming-out party for her at the ballroom of Ciriaco Hotel.

Anna Katrina Resente turned 18 last March 8, 2011. Her parents Rene and Annie tendered a coming-out party for her last April 20 at the Ciriaco Hotel.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Beyond Earth Hour

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another weekend. First things first. The CKC-Jose Gomez Symphony Orchestra is a finalist in the Globe Campus Super Showdown. Please vote for the orchestra by texitng: CCSS CKC and send to 2948. Their final showdown with other Visayas finalists will be held on March 31, 2011 at the University of San Jose Recoletos campus.

* * *

So tomorrow, the world or at least a good portion of it will be observing Earth Hour. And Calbayog will participate in the said event. Surely it is a noteworthy activity. An Earth Hour (EH) event in always news. By Sunday, it will all over the place. And many will take note about how many countries or cities participated in the event and how much energy was saved for one hour. And then, that’s it. We wait for the next EH event. I think it’s time that we go beyond just observing one hour of darkness. But, having that dark hour (on purpose) is a good start though.

And while we are into this event, I might as well repeat what I have always wrote in this column each time this event comes around. Power outages, or blackouts, or brownout are one of the (sad) realities in these islands which comprise Region 8. Now if one is to sum up the number of hours when we have dark nights or hot days because of just that – power failure, I think we have more than enough of our share of Earth Hours to last . . . a lifetime perhaps?. Oops, don’t take that seriously, just wanna make you smile this weekend.

* * *

Golden Sacerdotal Anniversary Celebration. Rev. Fr. Antonio Guy Petilla celebrated his 50th Sacerdotal Anniversary last Friday. Calbayog Bishop Isabelo Abarquez, Catarman Bishop Emeritus Angel Hobayan and Infanta (Quezon) Bishop Rolando Tirona along with a good number of the Calbayog clergy concelebrated with Fr. Petilla during the Thanksgiving Mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. Liturgical Music was provided by the CKC-Jose Gomez Symphony Orchestra and the SVP Seminary Choir under the baton of Fr. Marlowe Rosales, ofm.

After the mass, a dinner reception was held at the Calbayog Convention and Cultural Center. Congressman Mel Sarmiento and Mayor Reynaldo Uy led the guest list which included some of Fr. Tony’s parishioners from the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Daly City, California. The dinner was capped by a presentation of Calbayog songs and dances courtesy of the CACO ISKOLARS, the Petilla Clan and the Calbayog clergy.

* * *

Birthday Greetings. Belated greetings to Archbishop Jose Palma who turned a year older last Saturday.

Advanced greetings to Rolando Saplad Jr. will turn a year older tomorrow.

* * *

Wedding Bells. Glenn Lagman and Angel Dira will get married tomorrow. Msgr. Bienvenido Chiquillo will preside over their wedding mass at the San Damiano Chapel at Christ the King College. Concelebrating with him are Msgr. Jun Cinco and Fr. Bloy Guiuan. Reception will be held at the Calbayog Convention and Cultural Center.

* * *

A Parish Centennial Celebration. The folks at the Saint Vincent Ferrer of Tinambacan District are currently on their toes preparing for their forthcoming big event. The parish will turn 100 years old on May 11, 2011.

* * *

Lastly, let me repeat my request (for globe subscribers). Please vote for the CKC-Jose Gomez Symphony Orchestra. Text: CCSS CKC and send to 2948.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Balay and Samar

Hi there! It’s another weekend. I know that everyone is into things EDSA today. I have reserved my thoughts on that significant event for my next column, which I hope will make it to the deadline for the Monday edition of this paper.

So, what’s with today’s title? These two words, err, names should be very familiar by now. These are the words that came to mind right after Senator Mar Roxas went on TV and disclosed how PNoy reacted to his report on his Taiwan trip; and how VP Binay announced his successful China trip which some quarters referred to as the lengthening of the agony of the Pinoys on death row in China. And it occurred to me, that’s zero (0) point for Balay and one (1) point for Samar. Well, that’s if we consider rescheduling death sentence (I hope I’m using the right term) a success.

And so PNoy and Senator Bongbong recently figured in a tussle (well almost). Yes, Cory Aquino was not a perfect President. And I believe Ninoy’s comment which said something like whoever will follow Marcos as President will have a hard time doing his or her job. Yun lang po.

* * *

Outreach Concert. The CKC-Jose Gomez Orchestra will have its second barangay outreach concert today. This will be held in Barangay Migara. The first outreach concert was held in Barangay Pilar.

* * *

Pasidungog 2011. DepEd Calbayog City Schools Division will hold its 5th Pasidungog for Stakeholders.

Mayor Reynaldo Uy and DepEd Usec Yolanda Quijano will lead the City and DepEd Officials who were invited to the event which will be held tomorrow at the Calbayog City Sports Center.

This year’s pasidungog is anchored on the theme: “Kalidad nga Edukasyon san Kabataan, Responsibilidad san Ngatanan”.

* * *

Good gracious, I’m old! How do you know that you are old? I was with a friend discussing about some details of their forthcoming class reunion. That reunion is supposed to be special simply because it will be held 30 years after their graduation. And then it happened. On the planning board are the following activities (for the members of the class and some folks in selected barangays): medical checkup, bone density test, blood test, cholesterol test, dental operation, and the like.

When the details of your class reunion include things other than just food, booze and music, then you are into things or category that’s for the not-so-young. (Smile! It’s a weekend!)

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Friday, February 18, 2011

In aid of . . .

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another weekend. We are a week away to the 25th anniversary of the EDSA revolution. I can still remember some commentators saying that the event defied definitions. It was a revolution (sans the blood) with a fiesta atmosphere. Needless to say, the spirit behind People Power inspired the other movements which resulted among others, in the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. I supposed it was the same spirit which led to Mubarak stepping down and handling power over to well, the military. And the protests are going on across various capitals in the Middle East and Africa.

* * *

And the Supreme Court changed its mind again. As news had it, it seems that the highest court of the land can’t seem to make up its mind on the cityhood issue. I suppose some quarters are praying for the same thing with regards to the SC nod on the impeachment against the ombudsman.

Suddenly, I am reminded about last Sunday’s gospel. There was a line which called for everyone to mean what they say, like yes if it is yes and no if it is no (in matters that we do in life). Like make it either black or white. And it occurred to me, that for most of us, we can hardly be specific and that things oftentimes come not in black or white but in various shades of gray.

* * *

So, the latest feat of the imbestigadors had Angie Reyes shooting himself. Okey, so it’s in aid of legislation. Sige na nga, let’s see what law they will pass this time so as to curb graft and corruption both in high and low places. On the other hand, do you remember a few years back how a member of the lower house crossed sword with the Arroyos just in time for the election and that member of the lower house made his way to the upper house (easily, if I may add). In other words, people who refer to this exercise (both by the acerbic and the pa-cute lawmakers. Count in the silent committee members too) as in aid of reelection cannot be wrong after all.

* * *

And the survey says. Di bale nang pangit basta mayaman. Or so said many Filipinos in that recent SWS survey. There must be a lesson that can be had somewhere. Smile, it’s a weekend.

* * *

The CKC-Jose Gomez Orchestra will have its second barangay outreach concert. This will be held on February 25, 2011 in Barangay Migara. The first outreach concert was held in Barangay Pilar.

* * *

Calbayog achievers. Congratulations to:
  • Riene Dimakiling (Grade 4-A) of Calbayog City SPED Center. He bested 36 contestants in the Scrap Art and Collage Competition during the National Science Quiz 2011 held at the Sta. Cruz Elementary School in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.
  • The Calbayog Robot Dance group of Calbayog City SPED Center. They placed second among 18 groups which competed in the robot dance contest during the National Science Quiz 2011 held at the Pedro Guevarra Memorial High School in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

* * *

Birthday greetings to City Treasurer Federico “Rene” Resente. He will turn a year older tomorrow.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Monday, February 14, 2011

That day of the year

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! Happy Valentines’ Day everyone! Oops, I can’t believe it, I just wished you to be happy on this day of days, I mean that day of the year which I was never comfy with. Anyway, it’s another week and I understand PNoy recently did an EO which had to do about implementing a total log ban in the country. Like total log ban? It can be done, or so said some quarters. Just wondering, what’s the government’s definition of log ban? I’ve have been hearing that term since the moment I can spell the words “log” and “ban”. So, total log ban in the Philippines? Yeah right! My apologies PNoy, but you’re still my President though.

* * *

So, what’s with today’s title? I am once giving my annual lamentation about Valentine’s Day which happens today. Yup, it’s that day of the year again. Last year, aside from the day falling on Chinese New Year’s day, it was made memorable by the now (in)famous distribution of condoms by the DOH (I think I’d prefer the condoms to Valentines’ day itself but, as one iced tea AD had it, that’s another issue).

Needless to say, the flower vendors, cake shops and yes, count in the telcos too (you know the countless happy-valentines-day-i-love-you text messages), all of them will make a killing today. It’s all over the news. And let’s not even start discussing the fancy dinners, the hotel room promos, etc. There will be so much demand for everything about love, so the “love” providers had to jack up the prices. Well, it’s not highway robbery, is it?

So what the big fuzz about V-Day? Surely we have the U.S. capitalists to thank for. You know, the way they promoted the other significant (kunu) celebrations like fathers’ day and mothers’ day. And I’m wondering why Pinoys have not caught with their American bros’ celebrations of grandparents’ day, secretaries day. And let’s count in veterans’ day too. Last year some supermarkets raked it in selling turkeys by needless to say, riding on Thanksgiving Day (of the US of A).

Back to V-Day. I’ve said this line for the past so many years and I’m saying it again: What is it about that day of the year that if you are not into it, they call you frigid; and if you are into it, you are a hopeless romantic. Ah, es la vida.

* * *

A tale of two Congressmen (I got this somewhere in the net. My apologies I forgot to take note of the site’s name).

In the U.S.. The congressman of the 26th District of New York, Christopher Lee, resigned from his seat at the House of Representative on Wednesday after his shirtless photo was posted on the internet.

Reports emerged saying that the Republican representative who’s married and has a child was flirting via email to a woman he met in Craiglist and he even sent a photo of him who’s wearing no-shirt.

The story of the congressman and the Craiglist woman was posted on the Gawker (site). It was noted that a woman put an ad in the “Women for Men” section of the Craiglist on January 14. Then by afternoon, Christopher Lee replied to the ad using his email. On the exchange of email, Mr. Lee simply lied by telling the woman that he was divorced and was on his way to cheat his wife. The congressman’s picture was all over the news.

In the Philippines. A congressman from the Philippines caught possessing illegal drug and pleaded guilty on his crime, and even confessed to the court that he’s an addict of the illegal substance, yet he has not resigned from his seat at the House of Representative of the Philippines.

What do you think?

* * *

This is it for now. Have a great week ahead! Ciao!


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