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 SamareƱos 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!

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