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Sunday, May 23, 2010

2nd UST/J Elizalde Navarro Arts Workshop in Baguio

The "2nd Jeremias Elizalde Navarro National Seminar Workshop on Arts Criticism" is now on its first day at the new Colione Hotel along Easter Road, Baguio City.  Scheduled from 23-29 May 2010, it is sponsored by the Varsitarian, the eight-decade old student publication of the University of Santo Tomas (UST).

The workshop seeks not only to honor J. Elizalde Navarro, one of the Philippines 14 National Artists for the Visual Arts, but also to serve as one of the long line of activities in the run-up to the UST's 400th year anniversary in 2011.

The 10 fellows who made it to the workshop are Aidel Paul Belamide (UPLB), Mary Jessel B. Duque (UPD), Anne Ensomo (AdMU), Luigi Eraneta (AdMU), Alona U. Guevarra (ADMU), Alvin Ringgo C. Reyes (STC), Frank Lloyd B. Tiongson (UPD), Jaymee Siao (UST), Karren Sena (UST), Joanna Parungao (UST), Scott Saboy (UPB),  and Grace Subido (UPB).  Their works, including those of the 1st JEN workshop, are expected to be slated for publication next year.

The following professors/writers serve as panelists to the second workshop: Ferdinand M. Lopez (UST), Oscar Campomanes (ADMU), Gary Devilles (ADMU), Ralph Galan (UST), John Jack Wigley (UST), Nerisa del Carmen Guevarra (UST), and Lito Zulueta (UST).

Part of the week-long learning event is a tour at the famous BenCab Museum and an "interaction" with another National Artist for the Visual Arts, Benedicto R. Cabrera.   The fellows will also be privileged to drink  from the wisdom  of Cordillera Studies Center (CSC) director, UPB professor, and  noted cultural/literary critic Delfin L. Tolentino,Jr.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

AUS Files Update: Kalinga Heroes Juan M. Duyan and Camilo Lammawin

Kalinga's political history wouldn't be complete without going through accounts of heroism and leadership about Kalinga pangats (tribal leaders) among whom were Juan M. Duyan and Camilo Lammawin, Sr.  Follow the the links below for articles written about these two Kalinga pangat by Kalinga journalist and local historian Gus Saboy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Habol na sa Ani 36!

Cordilleran writers are encouraged to submit their poems, essays, and/or short stories to the  Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) for Ani 36. This year's theme is "Disaster and Survival," deadest deadline is June 30.

The Literary Arts Division of the Cultural Center of the Philippines is accepting contributions to its ANI 36 journal. The year’s volume focuses on the theme “Disaster and Survival”.

Works accepted are poems, short stories and essays in Filipino, English or any Philippine language with translation (or gist for prose) in Filipino or English.

The first decade of the 21st century brought record-breaking disasters such as typhoons, floods and landslides that tested the resiliency, resourcefulness and spiritual strength of the Filipinos and changed the history of the nation. This year’s best literary works reflective of the lessons learned from such events will be put together in ANI 36.

Submissions must be typewritten or computer-encoded in Arial 12 points, double-spaced on short bond paper (8.5” x 11”), accompanied by a sheet containing the author’s five-sentence biographical note, contact numbers and address, and tax identification number (TIN) for payment purposes.

Contributions must be submitted by email ( an MSWord attachment in rich text format (.rtf) addressed to The Editor, ANI 36, Literary Arts Division, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City 1300. Deadline for submission is June 30.

(For verification, please contact Mr. Hermie Beltran, tel. no. 832-1125 local 1706, 1707.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's Agyao and Baac in Kalinga

Engr. Manuel Agyao kept his congressional seat while apo Jocel Baac and Jesse Allen Mangaoang won as Governor and Vice-Governor, respectively.  Meanwhile, Tabuk City’s new honchos are Mayor Ferdinand Tubban and Vice Mayor Darwin EstraƱero.

Sapay koma ta babaen iti baro nga gobyerno local iti Kalinga, masemento met aminen dagiti main roads tau, maiyurnos ti Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) ti probinsiya, ken maaddaanen ti napigsa nga cyber-signal kadagiti sulsulinek ti ili tayo!

The 2010 National Polls: Grrahh and Hurrah

It would be frustrating if indeed Senator Manuel Roxas loses to Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay in the race for vice presidency.  But well, in a political exercise such as this,   campaign strategies create big surprises.

Whether its "Noy-Bi" or "Noy-Mar," I guess we can still unite in congratulating the new government (at least hindi "Erap-Nay") as we share a great hope for better, new things to come for Da Pelepens.  And, for all we know, a Jejo-Mar partnership under the Noynoy Aquino administration is going to do wonders! Basta ba lahat ng gagawin nila ay maka Noy-Pi. :)

Equally frustrating for me, though not really surprising, is seeing actors Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada topping the senatorial race, and Lito Lapid likely making it to the "Magic 12."  There are other candidates better suited for the Philippine Senate.

Sure, actors or ex-actors could be great politicians as (now) Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has proven. But I'd rather have real legislators take the places of Estrada, Lapid and Revilla who I still think are better fitted for the  PambansangTakilya than for the Batasang Pambansa.

Despite my misgivings about the national polls, I would have to join the nation in giving the thumbs up to the success of our first automated elections, made possible through the concerted efforts of various stakeholders/interest groups in the country.  In the next polls, we can expect a swifter casting and transmission of votes.

The media as a whole has done a superb job keeping the public well-informed (oh yes, at times, misinformed by black propaganda on television, radio and the newspapers) and for proving that that our country is still home to volunteerism and vigilance.  Along with the automated voting system, the media's holographic and "virtual presence" effects have also thrilled the nation.

The military and police forces have certainly gained credibility for doing their best to help keep the polls generally peaceful.  It was a joy seeing our armed forces augmented by a great army of volunteers from different churches and other institutions.

And who would forget our thousands of teachers who have unfailingly helped secure the sanctity of the ballot.  TGFT! (Thank God For Teachers!)  I hope they get their long overdue salary increases and additional benefits!

May 10, 2010 is one great, shining day for the Philippines.  Our continuing task is to sustain our participation in governance as we help our new leaders make Da Pelepens a better place to live in.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My List for the 2010 National Elections

President: Noynoy AQUINO

Vice President: Mar ROXAS

Senators: Nereus ACOSTA, Ana BARAQUEL, Silvestre BELLO III, Rufino BIAZON, Pia CAYETANO, Franklin DRILON, Rey LANGIT, Liza MAZA, Zosimo PAREDES, Miriam Defensor SANTIAGO, Adel TAMANO, Francisco TATAD

Noynoy Aquino is my choice for President not because he is the best among all the presidentiables.  You might agree with me if I say that Gordon, Villanueva and Villar have exemplified outstanding managerial skills more than he has, and Gibo is better–looking and looks smarter than he.

But why Noynoy then?  First, I believe in the ideals of the Liberal Party (LP) which he now leads. Second, my original choice for president was Mar Roxas so when he bowed out of the presidential race and became Ninoy's running mate,  I naturally went for Ninoy.  For I think it would do the country good if the top two political posts in the land be held by those who share the same political ideals.  Second, the legacy of Noynoy's parents still powerfully tugs at the heartstrings of most Filipinos and this could be exploited to unite the country.  Third, I think that among all presidentiables Noynoy has the greatest burden to prove he could help turn the ship of state around toward better shores because of his initial reluctance to run for president, his lack of charisma and unremarkable public service record.

Not much of a set of arguments, you might say but at least I am trying to make sense of my choice for these elective positions.

This doesn't mean, however, that I agree with the fallacy in Noynoy's political ad in which he seems to be saying that he represents the one, true, matuwid (straight) road to peace and prosperity and his rivals the baluktot (crooked) way.  I believe  that even though not all of the presidentiables are fit to lead the country, still they all have great things about them which they could still put to good use for the nation even after the electoral season.

I picked out the senatoriables above not because only they in the list should be given the chance to prove their worth in the Senate.  Had there been more slots, I would have gladly added some more names in my list.  Nevertheless, these 12 represent a wide variety of interest groups from moralists and legalists to feminists and environmentalists. I do have reservations regarding their positions on different issues (I am uncomfortable with Tatad's conservatism, for instance), but hey I don’t have to agree with all that they have to say or like the political parties they belong to to vote for them.  What’s more important is that they can articulate voices from both the margins and the center (center of the center, left of center, or right of center).

But then again, not all the senatoriables are fit for the position.  For some are more competent as movie stars than national legislators.  That's why I will not go for Jinggoy Estrada, Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla (the INC's recommendation notwithstanding).  But if we unfortunately find them making monkeys out of themselves in the Senate weeks from now, mei banfa, ala tayong magagawa, but to say balabadde na tolay, alalakkay vo'amen!

Just the same, I am not under the illusion that were these politicos elected, our country's woes would be over in a jiffy.  For the best thing they could do is to help set the country to the right direction which those who will later fill in their ranks will hopefully push through.

Nor am I entertaining the idea that most of these people could truly empathize with the plight of the rest of us the common tao who wonder how they could splurge barrelsful of money for their campaign ads and gas guzzlers while we continue to scrape the bottom of our tiny, and grimy barrels.  Funny, all of them talk about eradicating poverty while they spend billions of pesos for this electoral exercise  seemingly oblivious of the fact that such a hefty sum could have helped many kababayan to put up a sarisari store or a small kubo they could truly call their own.

But well, we can't do anything much about that, can we?  As they say, anvils bear while hammers strike.

Of Gods and Politicos

When politicos run for earthly offices, the gods come down from heaven to aid their anointed just as the Olympians of old would glide down from their cloud-capped abode to root for their respective champions’ victory in the human arena.

Apollo Quibolloy talked to his Father in Heaven and was told to root for Gibo; Eduardo Manalo, et al., consulted with God and were given the idea to go for Noynoy; certain Bible believers prayed for discernment and got divided over whether they were advised to vote for Bro. Ed Villanueva, Gibo or Nic Perlas; wielders of the Holy Rosary got different revelations and so distributed their blessings to the various presidentiables;  and, of course, some devotees of Bacchus and Hermes received orders from their haloed patrons  that they should back Erap Estrada.

Herds in different corrals won’t question their own shepherds’ political choices, for after all these decisions are sanctioned by heaven.  It doesn’t matter that they have made God speak with forked tongues.  It doesn’t matter that they have virtually made the Omniscient, All-Benevolent One myopic and capricious.  All that matters is that their respective pasturelands solely bear imprints of God’s grace and that while men will and do sabotage God’s will, their version of truth will eventually prevail over the forces of deception.

When the saints go marching into the polling places during this fateful day of political judgement, I wonder what or if God actually whispered to their blessed ears.

But the best thing for these religious folks to do would be to follow Mike Velarde's advice to his flock: "Vote according to your conscience."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Summer Workshop on Kalinga Performance Arts

YKPO & Lin-awa Center to offer Workshop on Kalinga Performance Arts

Tungngatong (bamboo tube stamper). Ballingbing (split-bamboo buzzer). Patatag (half-bamboo xylophone blade). Tupayya & pattong (gong playing).  Tungali (mouth flute).

These are among the Kalinga musical instruments which participants to the "1st YKPO/Lin-awa Workshop on Kalinga Performance Arts" will be introduced to.   The workshop will be held on 13-15 May 2010 at the Baguio Convention Center, with the “Kiddie Session” scheduled from 9-12 am and the “Jutander Session” from 2-5 pm.

Only 12 slots are open for children aged 7-14, and another 12 for adults.

Originally conceived as part of a “re-rooting” program for Kalingas residing in Baguio City and Benguet, the program is now offered to all interested individuals regardless of ethnic origin.

For reservation and/or inquiries, send emails to manang Lucy or Len or Popoy  :).

"Tropang RH"

Nope, RH does not stand for “Rhesus,” “Red Horse,”  “Rabbit Hole,”  “Robin Hood,” or “Rural Health” (this one’s close enough, though).  It’s “Responsible Humans.”

This is one of the newest groups in the City of Baguio organized by yuppies who wish to make a positive difference in the community.  It is presently comprised of 23 registered nurses most of whom are graduates of the University of the Cordilleras (UC).

Formally registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) early this year, it actually started work in April 2007 with its first medical mission in Kamog, Sablan, Benguet followed by another in Beleng–Belis, Kapangan last March.   They intend to go back to Kapangan for a dental mission sometime this year.

In a recent meeting with some officers of the Young yKalinga Professionals Organization, “Tropang RH” will be helping to conduct a medical mission in Tabuk City toward the last quarter of this year.

The group is also setting its sights on doing other projects and activities aside from medical/dental missions.  Its upcoming calendar of activities will be bared after its general assembly this June.

Tropang RH is headed by Humprey  Alejandro (BS Bio, UP Baguio; BSN, UC).

Mabuhay kayo mga kapatid! J