Thursday, October 2, 2008
By Joe Espiritu
Ok Mac, its fiesta time. A few days from now will be the feast of St. Michael the Archangel. It will not only be the Jagnaanons, who will celebrate this religious event hut also those from Clarin and San Miguel, Bohol . Farther away, those from Iligan City and Argao, Cebu will be doing the same. Here, the fiesta will not be the same as a few years before, when Jagna celebrated its 375th anniversary, but it will be as colorful as well.
There is one thing peculiar in a Jagnaanon. This is; if he cannot be always in Jagna, he will bring Jagna along with him. In any part of the world, where two or more Jagnaanons live, they will celebrate the fiesta on September 29, Sometimes, since they are working, they will celebrate the event on a Sunday nearest that date. Before that, they will hold a nine-day novena in the house of one of the board of directors and on the day, a priest who is a Jagnaanon will celebrate the mass.
One of the oldest organizations loyal to the patron saint of Jagna is the Pundok Jagnaanon of Metro Manila. This group is made up of Jagna expats, who had left town years ago that the younger ones here do not know them anymore, and the second-generation expats, who had never been to Jagna. Once, when Padre Saro was the parish priest of Sta Mesa, which church is near the old Stop and Shop the fiesta mass was celebrated there. The party was in Aroma Café in Sta Cruz, Manila . This time, the Pundok holds their celebration in the Aberdeen Court in Quezon City. Perhaps they celebrate the mass there too.
Another group of Jagnaanons, who follow the same observation are those from far away . They observe their fiesta in the suburbs of Los Angeles or somewhere near San Francisco. We are not sure, whether they are just one organization since Frisco is some eight hours drive from the City of the Angels. Besides, there are more turtogoks in the former particularly around Salinas and Stockton. But turtogoks sure passports to US citizenship of young Filipinas are dying breed. They are replaced by younger, streetwise Pinoys.
The California expats have one over, the Pundok members of Metro Manila. They observe the sinulog. Perhaps the Pundok members are more inhibited. There was once a sinulog contingent in the Frisco suburbs one fiesta. The drummer was a CPA from Looc. He must have observed many sinulog presentations here that he was able to drum out the correct beat. The prancing and banging of shields was the same including the recitation of rhymes more often than not irrelevant to the event. Anyway they are appreciated there by the Pinoys and their Americans guests though the latter do not understand a word of what is going on.
To commemorate the event, T-shirts emblazoned with the patron saint are given away. We have one and there was a story, which goes along with it. An artist was hired by a sponsor to print the image of the archangel on T-shirts to be given away. The sponsor, an excellent example of a TBTK – Tanang – did not pay the agreed price. In the first samples that came out, the devil under the foot of St Michael was sporting the face of the sponsor. The amount must have been correctly paid since the face of the devil in the later versions was darkened out.
By Frony Fortich, Bohol Sunday Post
As a young reporter, I was helping also in the election campaign of then manager of Southern Industrial Projects, Gregorio Concon, who contested the congressional reelection drive of the late Congressman Natalio Castillo. I was a party of the Concon demolition team and even Chito Castillo, his son knew this well kept secret.
A few years after when I decided to stay in Manila , Castillo knew me as the son of Guadalupe Canizares, who was her teacher. When he saw me, he asked about my mother and also if I had a job. I said I was jobless at that time. He asked what my profession is, and I replied I was a teacher. He did ask me I have a civil service eligibility which I did, and he asked me to follow to his congressional office, where and there, he wrote a letter to the City Superintendent of Schools of Manila recommending me for a teaching position in the City of Manila. Thereupon, the note was readily recognized and the good superintendent sent me to teach at Manuel Roxas High School in Paco although I did not stay that long because I hated writing lesson plans and I was not really a dyed in the wool teacher.
Eye Opener, Column, Sunday Post
One of the popular figures during the Marcos administration was the congressman from Ilocos Norte, Tony Raquiza. The Ilocano solon form part of the CRC bloc, composed of Congresmen Manuel Cases, Floro Crisologo and then Tony Raquiza.
Raquiza was appointed Public Works and Highways Secretary during the Marcos regime. He once went to Bohol to inspect bridges here. He went to a certain bridge in Sevilla and upon the proddings of certain officials in that area, Raquiza promised to construct a new bridge to replace the old one. He remarked and promised that in 90 days I will "Raquitize this bridge means the facility will be completed.
In 90 days the bridge was "Raquitized" alright, completed and inaugurated. A day after the inauguration, the bridge collapsed, when I went to the scene as a reporter of the Bohol Chronicle, I saw the collapsed bridge and then some bodies floating on the river. I asked a bystander, how many died since I saw bodies floating, he said about two, wondering aloud that it could be more, and thinking that if six people died, it would certainly get a page one billing at the then popular Manila Times, because of the numbers killed, I wrote the story and also provided another copy to Radio Station DYRD.
The Manila Times edition carried out the story on page 1 with my byline. How proud I was. A.page one billing with my byline was certainly a scoop to relish. Later on in the day, the then Chronicle editor called me to come to the Bohol Chronicle . He was a little bit angry and agitated for me being careless with facts and figures as people killed are like typhoons which are always exaggerated in the terms of damages, because obviously the bigger damage estimates, the more money the public officials would get, it is always a secret collaboration between the media and the public officials. So the more people killed, the guarantee of a page one billing in the Manila Times.
But then later Atty. Zoilo Dejaresco Jr., my boss pointed an accusing finger at me. You are a murderer, how can you, only two people were killed in that bridge collapse, but you reported six people were killed, an exaggeration of figures. As a young reporter, it was only at that time, that I realized the gravity of the journalism crime I committed.
During the early years, being haughty and 'hambugero" were part of my traits. Imagine there were only three considered newspapermen in town. The late Zoilo Dejaresco Jr., Gov. Erico Aumentado and I. Not that many. When I walked at the capitol everybody was looking at me.
By Joe Espiritu, Bohol Sunday Post
The past week news has been disturbing. In the print media and television, items said that the Church is taking the Reproductive Health Bill or RHB issue to the school level. Then back page of a national broad sheet, a picture of three bishops holding hand sized placards urging the scrapping of the imposition of the Value Added Tax. On television, Mike Velarde, leader of a large religious group threatened to run for president, if the Reproductive Health Bill is passed. This is too much.
In a democracy like ours, everybody has the right to express his opinion. However, this right is not absolute. There is always a limitation. There was a saying once, which said, "the right to swing one's arm ends where the nose to his neighbor begins." There are others, who have a different opinion. Unfortunately, they do not have the same clout or exposure as those who profess to be the guardian of the welfare of the people.
In the media, we have live up to a principle, which says, the bigger is the influence welded, the bigger the responsibility it carries. We, therefore, exercise caution and restrai9nt in our opinions knowing that there are those, who may be influenced by our thinking. Although we can issue a retraction in the later issues of the paper, reputations had been damaged or wrong information had been disseminated. This is not always the same in other organizations, which claims infallibility.
Because of cannon law, the Church must oppose the RHB. It is not only their right but also their duty. But there are also Catholics, who do not follow their thinking. Those who call themselves "modern" Catholics do not always follow all, what their prelates say. As long as they do not run against the doctrine, as long as they adhere to the Nicean Creed, they claim that their conscience is clear. They may be denied communion or any other sanctions imposed by they Church. It is up to the Church authorities.
Because the Church welds tremendous influence over the predominantly Catholic country like the Philippines, it must also be aware of its awesome responsibilities. The Church is perfectly aware that the soul cannot be kept pure if the body is weak and prone to temptation. It is hard to praise God, when there is no food in his stomach, no roof over his head, clothes on his body and no hope in his future. It is hard to praise God either if he sees his loved ones cold, starving or in danger.
All over the world, it is the government, which is responsible for the basic needs of its citizens. In disasters man made or natural, it is the government, which must provide food, shelter, clothing and any and all means so the citizens could be able to start life anew. Above all, the government must also provide its citizens a chance for a better life in the future. All these need money. And money comes from taxes. Additional services need additional money, which is to come from Value Added Taxes.
If the RHB stops the murder of fetuses and neonates, safeguard the health of the mothers, and keep the Philippine population at a manageable level, the bill has achieved its end. If the Value Added Taxes provide immediate relief in disasters, help the afflicted stand on their own feet and provide a better hope for the future by providing those without livelihood a chance for gainful employment, then his tax must be kept. The VAT is extracted from those who are fortunate enough to pay not from those who do not have the capacity to pay.
Governance must be left to the government. If the Church wants to help, they are very much welcome. If the Church chose to criticize, let them, we would help them do it. However, if they exert influence for religious reasons, perhaps we would think many times before helping. We would not like to live in a country run by religious authorities like the mullahs of Afghanistan or ayatollahs of Iran.
By Boy Guingguing, Sunday Post Publisher
Interest is a very strong word. Regardless of who is involved, the degree of involvement is always strong. For instance, there is the expression that in politics there are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies. There is only permanent interest.
I am reminded about a sad incident involving the mother of a young man who was killed in a gang-related incident many years ago. Still stricken with grief and crying out for justice for the death of her son, the mother went to a distant relative who is a prominent politician in the province.
The mother expected the politician to help her because he is known to be very approachable and supportive. The public perception is that he is one who goes out of his way to help people in need. In other words, he looks good to everybody.
Imagine the mother's disappointment when the politician told her his dilemma.
"Unsaon man nako ni ha? Amigo man gud nako kaayo ang amahan?" That was how the politician answered when his help was asked in the quest for justice.
The mother could not believe her ears. This man has always been known to facilitate the needs of people. This man always had a way of saying things to give the perception that he cared and that he will do something.
That time, the politician did something she did not expect. He turned her down.
This was one thing the mother needed most – justice for her son. She would give the world just to bring the people responsible for his death to justice. She loved her so much and now he is gone. The only way to prove that love is to bring his killers to face the music.
But the response of the politician-relative came as a complete surprise to her. She was so disappointed that she decided not to press charges anymore. Although she knew the killers, she felt that if her politician-relative could not help her, then the father of the suspect must be very powerful.
The mother is still grieving over the death of her son. She is still grieving because his killers are still out there, laughing, enjoying life while her son has long been buried. She is also grieving because every time she reads about her politician-relative, all she reads is his genuine desire to help people.
She is also grieving when he reads about the father of the suspect. He is known in the community as a very religious man. He belongs to a very respected family who is not associated with any wrongdoing.
The mother continues to pray earnestly that God will intervene so that her son will get justice. She hopes that even if her politician-relative will not help, there will be other people who will help her.
As for the father of the suspect, she leaves him and his family to God.
There are no permanent friends, only permanent interest. I cannot wait to see the day when interest dictates that the politician-friend help the mother get justice.
Abangan ang susunod na kabanata!