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!

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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.

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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.”

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

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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.”

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Have a nice week everyone! Ciao!

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