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Youngblood: A Simple Man January 24, 2012

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I am sharing/reposting below an article written by a friend, Roge Gonzales which appeared at the Youngblood section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Roge, 23 is a development journalism major at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He was a former regional chairperson of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines:

Youngblood, PDI — My dad died several months ago. A heart attack triggered by complications from his diabetes ended his life at 62 years.

It was most painful to see my father lying inside a casket especially because I had not yet fulfilled the dreams I wanted to accomplish for him. But his passing also gave some kind of strength to every one of us in the family.

He did not have political power because he was not a public official. Neither did he have fame since he was not an actor or celebrity. But his funeral rites drew almost a thousand people. He was a simple man but a great man nonetheless.

My father spent most of his life as an overseas worker, someone whom the government gives the flattering title of “bagong bayani.” As one of the topnotchers in the civil engineering board exam, it was easy for him to join the first exodus of professionals to the Middle East during the Marcos era. He was there even before he married my mother. They kept their romance alive through love letters.

I practically grew up without a father by my side. However, he never failed to attend every commencement exercise in my elementary and high school years. One time, he arrived as the awards were being handed out after a nine-hour bus ride from Manila and, before that, a long flight from Doha, Qatar.

Shortly after he decided to stop working abroad, he suffered a mild stroke. He was partially paralyzed and almost lost his speech. Thankfully, he recovered—but only after several months of hospitalization and therapy. His medical bills, including professional fees for his doctors and multicolored tablets and capsules, wiped out everything he had saved over several decades as an OFW.

To save money, dad had one of his operations done in a public hospital. I can still picture how the wards at the Philippine General Hospital looked like, with around a hundred patients lying in one room, each one requiring urgent medical attention, much like an infirmary in a war zone.

My father once told me that the governments of countries in the Middle East provided people like him with additional medical benefits (he was given a free supply of insulin, for example). From that point on, I always wondered why in our country hardworking people do not get the services they deserve.

Entering the University of the Philippines and getting involved in the school publication eventually provided me with the answers. I learned that protecting workers’ rights was never a priority of lawmakers. I learned that sending workers abroad was not just a matter of “personal choice” but part of the government’s labor export policy. I was awakened to the fact that allocations for social services, such as health and education, were drastically reduced during Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term.

In one of our conversations, I asked my dad why he chose to work abroad. He told me that he couldn’t bear to be part of a corrupt system that was devouring the motherland. He used to work at the Department of Public Works and Highways, but in just a few months he was seeing contractors making payoffs and politicians getting kickbacks from government projects. He said he didn’t want to feed us, his children, with food that came from stolen money. Because of my father’s example of making a living through honest labor, I find it hard to comprehend how powerful individuals can live from day to day with their conscience even as they pick the pockets of the people who pay taxes.

These days at home, I sometimes miss my dad’s frank commentaries as he read the newspapers or watched television. He had the ability to make concise analyses of burning issues. I wonder what he would have said now that the peoples of various Arab countries, where he once worked, are protesting against their fascist regimes. What would his take be on the Occupy Movement’s protest against corporate greed around the world?

I have come to realize that my political views were forged neither inside the walls of the university nor in street protests but by a whole lifetime of dad’s experiences. He was able to point out to me the conditions that need to be transformed into something much better.

These days I can’t shake off the feeling that what I believe to be the purpose of my life isn’t any different from what a mother of a desaparecido, such as Erlinda Cadapan, or a daughter of a slain journalist, such as Mika Ortega, yearn for. All of us want to attain social justice and to do away with a system that tolerates neglect by those who should be held responsible for making our society better.

During dad’s burial, I sent a text message to close friends which dad inspired during our family’s darkest hours. It read:

“We need to change this kind of society wherein parents are forced to sacrifice their love for their families and leave their homes in order to overcome the harsh realities of our society. We need to continue building our dream of a better future so that the next generations will no longer have to act this way.”

Ref: http://opinion.inquirer.net/21661/a-simple-man

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Video: Lantern Flying for Sendong Victims at UPLB January 20, 2012

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Snaps: Lantern Flying for Typhoon Sendong Victims @ UPLB January 20, 2012

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On the night of January 19 (incidentally, my birthday), some 600 lanterns were flown into the sky of UP Los Banos to symbolize the sympathies of the Los Banos community to the victims and survivors of typhoon Sendong (International Name: Washi) that devastated the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in Mindanao and Dumaguete in Negros. Most importantly, the event was able to raise modest amount from the lanterns sold to individuals and organizations for the benefit of the affected residents, specifically in the rehabilitation efforts.

Heart-shaped lantern

One for Sendong Victims

Up up and away

Wikipedia, Flickr, etc protest SOPA, PIPA January 19, 2012

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Online sites across the US and other parts of the world showed their respective protests either by suspending their services for 24 hours on January 18 (US Time) in dissent of the proposed “Stop Online Piracy Act.” (SOPA) and “Protect IP Act” (PIPA). I’m sharing below the statement of Wikipedia Foundation and Flickr:

English Wikipedia to go dark January 18 in opposition to SOPA/PIPA

San Francisco — January 16, 2012 — On January 18, 2012, in an unprecedented decision, the Wikipedia community has chosen to blackout the English version of Wikipedia for 24 hours, in protest against proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and PROTECTIP (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate. If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States.

Wikipedia administrators confirmed this decision Monday afternoon (PST) in a public statement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Action#Summary_and_conclusion):

Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a “blackout” of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support. READ MORE.

 

Help raise awareness about PIPA & SOPA

Two bills are currently being considered in the U.S. Congress: PIPA the “Protect IP Act” and SOPA the “Stop Online Piracy Act.”  Both are designed to address a legitimate problem – foreign-based websites that are engaging in digital piracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods.  Unfortunately, we and many others believe that these bills miss the mark.  These bills have the potential to stifle innovation, require censorship of search results, impose monitoring obligations, and change the way information is distributed on the web.   Government regulation of online activities is a slippery slope and these proposed bills fall down that slope without truly addressing the issues that ignited this debate.

With the pending votes on these bills, Flickr is joining other sites on the web on January 18th to help raise awareness about the potential impacts of this legislation.

If you would like to participate in this awareness campaign, Flickr is letting members darken their photos — or the photos of others — for a 24-hour period to deprive the web of the rich content that makes it thrive.  Your symbolic act will help draw attention to this issue and let others know about the potential harmful impacts of these bills. READ MORE.

 

In support of this cause, I just darkened a photo post in my newly-born Flickr Photostream HERE

Screen grab of a sample darkened photo

UPCAT 2012 Results Released January 18, 2012

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University of the Philippines
UPCAT Results 2012 Online
(For incoming freshmen of AY 2012-2013)
MAIN SITE | MIRROR 1 | MIRROR 2 | MIRROR 3

PAGE NAME RANGE
1 AARON, EUNICE MONCADA – ABES, HECTOR SALAZAR
2 ABES, LOIZA ALLISON BANDIOLA – ACLAN, SHERLYN ANTOINETTE BOONGALING
3 ACLAN, STELLAH GRACE PALOMARES – AGREDA, ROCHELLE IVY DELACRUZ
4 AGRIMANO, RONALYN BENDO – ALAZAS, ANDRE MIKO BONTES
5 ALBA, MAXINE LALLY TYBACO – ALFARO, RACHELLE ANNE TOLENTINO
6 ALFARO, RUMEL ANGELO TORRE – ALVARAN, LOUISE MARIE ROSE TUMALIUAN
7 ALVAREZ, ANNE KRISTINE VILLANUEVA – ANCHETA, ALEJANDRO LORENZO SANTOS
8 ANCHETA, ELLICE DANE WEE – ANSUAS, ANGELO BAYE BRUCELO
9 ANTANG, EULA KRISTINA DELA CRUZ – ARAMBULO, LYRACHEL GENERAL
10 ARANA, JOHN PAUL NUNEZ – ARNEDO, JHON PAUL PASCUA
11 ARNIGO, JAY MAR BRIONES – AUSTRIA, FLORIE MAE SALAZAR
12 AUSTRIA, HANNAH FAYE MERCADO – BAGADIONG, RIZZAH MAE SIGUA
13 BAGAIPO, JAIRUS PAGAR – BALDOVINO, APRIL JOY GOMEZ
14 BALDOVINO, EUNICE MARICAR MAGSALIN – BANGELES, ROSIE GIL
15 BANGGAT, KENN RAPHAEL MANOOS – BARRIDA, APRIL GRACE VILLASIS
16 BARRIENTOS, MONSOUR ALBERTO – BAUTISTA, IVAN TEDISON ARELLANO
17 BAUTISTA, JANINA HIPOLITO – BELDEROL, KEMUEL CLYDE MEDRANO
18 BELDIA, JEFFREY THOMAS VILLAPANDO – BERNALDO, MARDY GRACE ANN RESCOBER
19 BERNALES, JASPER JAMOROL – BOADO, KEIZEL MINORKA JOLONGBAYAN
20 BOADO, KRISTINA ABIGAIL ARANZANSO – BORJA, MAYBELLINE ROSETTE CERVERA
21 BORJA, PATRICIA TACO – BUENCONSEJO, DANA GRACE SIAPNO
22 BUENCONSEJO, JULIAN HALLADO – CAAMOD, ANNABELLE CRUDA
23 CAASI, PAULO MALGAPO – CABUSAS, KAREN GRACE LASCUNA
24 CABUSORA, RINAH LAE INSIGNE – CALDERON, KENNETH BANZUELA
25 CALDERON, KHRISTA LHEY VILLANUEVA – CANCERAN, PATRICIA JUNE LAYCO
26 CANCIO, KHRISTINE CARINO – CARAGA, AGATHA ANGELA IGNACIO
27 CARAGAN, MARISA ALARIN – CARTABIO, THREB GABRIEL FULE
28 CARTAGENA, LOUIE BALBOA – CASTRO, JAIAN XEPHEL GAMOSO
29 CASTRO, JAN CARLO MARCELO – CEDENO, MA ALAILA GUMAQUIL
30 CEJALVO, RENELIZA DALIPE – CHAVEZ, TONI MARIE HARO
31 CHAVEZ, VAN PAOLO DEL CASTILLO – CLADO, DANIEL WEAVER
32 CLARIDAD, JENNY JOY CABALLERO – CONCEPCION, EINA IZABELA ZAIDE
33 CONCEPCION, GAYLE RAHAB ANN RACCA – CORTEZ, ANDREW TIAMSON
34 CORTEZ, ANGELICA JOIECE CANILLADA – CRUZ, MARYA CHRISTEL IMMACULATE BURIO
35 CRUZ, MENANDRO II VERZOSA – DABLE, FRANCES MARIE JANDONERO
36 DABUET, KRISTIANNE CHYNA CHU TE – DARATO, BRET JOHN ONCOG
37 DARCEN, NICA THERESE MERCADO – DE GUZMAN, CHRISTIAN BRAVO
38 DE GUZMAN, CHRISTINE MAE PITALBO – DE PADUA, JAN LOUBERT
39 DE PADUA, RUSSEL BALTORES – DEL ROSARIO, GUENEVE BASILIO
40 DEL ROSARIO, JAN NOEL DIAZ – DELARIARTE, MISHA LOUISE ALCAZAR
41 DELASAS, GEMIELE ELAINE CAPISTRANO – DEYTIQUEZ, MARRIAN JOHANNA COTIANGCO
42 DIALOGO, SANDRA SURITA – DISSANAYAKE, IVY JOYCE AQUINO
43 DISTAL, JOSEPH PATRICK – DOROMAL, ROCHELLE LOUISE DELA CRUZ
44 DORON, MICHAEL BERNARD BRYAN DORIAS – EBATE, NEIL PHILIP LAZARITO
45 EBDANI, JENNIFER DERESMA – ENCENDENCIA, CHRISHA DAGPIN
46 ENCINA, ZALDY MARK FERIDO – ESCUDERO, JOHN AGUSTIN PINEDA
47 ESCUDO, RODEL GOZO – ESTAPIA, MARIE NEIL OLANDRIA
48 ESTARDO, JESSICA LICUAN – FABICON, SAMANTHA JOIE FERRERA
49 FABILA, CHRISTY PACLIBAR – FERNANDEZ, ANGELA JOY BALAGOSA
50 FERNANDEZ, ANGELA LOUISE GUDANI – FLORECE, CHRISTINE MARIE CALA-OR
51 FLORENDO, CARL ANDREW ALIPALA – FRANCISCO, JEWEL MIKA MORENENCIA
52 FRANCISCO, MA CARIZA PASCUAL – GALANG, EIRA CHARIZ ROQUE
53 GALANG, ELSON IAN NYL EBREO – GANOTISI, FRANCES MIGUEL
54 GANS, NICCOLO AGUJO – GARZON, JIEZL MAE LEYBLE
55 GASAPO, KAREN ROSE VICENCIO – GERMINAL, CHRISTINE FAITH GEGANTOCA
56 GERMINAL, NINA GRACE RAMIREZ – GO-ACO, VONCARLO CENIZA
57 GOAD, JHONNABIE TINA – GOROSPE, MARIA CORINE BERTIZ
58 GOROSPE, STEPHANIE GRACE CAPAO-AN – GUIMMAYEN, NEIL ANGELO CONEL
59 GUINANDAL, ADELFA ROSE BELICARIO – HERBON, ARRON LUCIUS BESARES
60 HERBOSA, JONNEL REDONDO – HUBILLA, FATIMA ATHENA DESTURA
61 HUBO, NICOLE JULIET BUENDIA – INFANTE, JELLOU MAE SORIANO
62 INFANTE, VAN CARLO MIGUEL – JARENCIO, MARY JEEL CABANUS
63 JAREOL, JANE SUMO – JUAN, CEZ DOMINIQUE ABITAN
64 JUAN, DANIELE – LABANTA, DECEMAE LYKA REGATON
65 LABAO, JOREM PAULO MELENCIO – LAGUARDIA, JAMILAH PAOLA DELA CRUZ
66 LAGUDAS, JESSA BERONILLA – LARAYA, KURT JOSEFF VILLAREAL
67 LARCIA, TANYA ALYANA LIMBO – LEBRILLA, FREZEL JADE COLACION
68 LEDESMA, AUGUSTO XAVIER NAVAL – LIBERATO, LISA KATRINA CONDE
69 LIBIANO, MARIA CAMILLE REVILLA – LIMBAGA, LORENZO GABRIEL CASCON
70 LIMBAGO, ALLAN JOSEPH DATOY – LOBITANA, CARLO JOSEPH ESTIGOY
71 LOBO, ELOISA RACHEL CUA – LOZANO, ANGELA JOY TANGANGCO
72 LOZANO, EMMANUEL GOMEZ – MAANO, PRINCE LESTER CAPISTRANO
73 MAAPE, JOHN NOEL RATILLA – MAGALLANES, LOISE EMBERR JANE GALLEGO
74 MAGALLON, CLARISSE LAUNIO – MAGUAD, MA ALTHEA TACSAGON
75 MAGUAD, STEPHEN DAVE SERVANCIA – MALTO, ZABRINA BERNICE LACUANAN
76 MALUBAY, GERINA ROSE CABALBAL – MANGANTE, MARIZ RAGA
77 MANGAO, ARNOLDUS MARZONIA – MARABI, JUDITH ANN CUEVA
78 MARABUT, GIANNA MARIE LINCHANGCO – MARQUEZ, SAMANTHA ANGELES
79 MARQUEZ, SAMANTHA LORAINE ERANA – MATULA, IGNATIUS MATTHEW CUBAL
80 MATULAC, JULIE ANN ZERRUDO – MENDOZA, AARON JAMES FIGUEROA
81 MENDOZA, ABBYGAIL GARCIA – MERCADO, MIGUEL EDUARDO MANIANGLUNG
82 MERCADO, MONIQUE ELOISE TEVES – MOLAS, ROMULO MARTIN III SANCHEZ
83 MOLASE, EDA MARIE VILLANUEVA – MONTOYA, PATRICIA MINELA LUSONG
84 MONTUD, SITTIE NIZHRAN ALLYSSA DORO – MUNOZ, RICARDO JR RANO
85 MUNSAYAC, MICHELLE GONZALES – NAS, JOHN SYLVESTER BRUSOLA
86 NASAYAO, MARIA TRICIA BERTIZ – NICDAO, TRISHA JEM JOVELLANOS
87 NICOLAS, AHRJAE JOY PRINCESS SULFELIX – OBERES, RAYMUND JUN TORDA
88 OBIAL, DENNIE ROSE SAPONG – OLAZO, STEPHEN ANDY MONTEAGUDO
89 OLEGARIO, NEIL KARLO ZAFRA – OQUENDO, NOEL AGUILAR
90 ORA, VICELLE JOY ABARENTOS – OZARAGA, MARIA KATRINA CHUA
91 OZON, MAY FREDELYN MIOLE – PAGADUAN, JUSTIN CORDOBA
92 PAGADUAN, KAREN TAM – PALMES, CHARLENE MANDARICIO
93 PALMES, GILGEN PARRENAS – PARAGAS, ROSE ANN MARIE NATE
94 PARAISO, JAYVEE MAGBANLAC – PATRON, JENNIFER ESTOLLOSO
95 PATRON, ROED DERIS – PERALTA, MARGARETTE KAYE BOLARES
96 PERALTA, MARIANI ANGEL LOMUGDANG – PIEDAD, MARICAR ROLUNA
97 PIELAGO, PATRICIA ANN ANDAL – PON-AN, CHARLENE JOYCE FRANCO
98 PONCE, ALBERT ALLAN YAN – PUNZALAN, MARI JANAE PAULA ALIBADBAD
99 PUNZALAN, MARIANNE CABALLERO – RABANOS, CARYL ANN ALCAZAREN
100 RABAYA, LUWIN JOSEPH ABADIANO – RAMOS, JOSE IMANUEL CRUZ
101 RAMOS, JOYCE ANNE LORIA – RECOPUERTO, HARMON SARDINA
102 RECOTE, JHOANNA REY CLEMENTE – REVEREZA, JEREMIAH JOSEPH LEGARDA
103 REVILLA, BRIAN JOSHUA MAPACPAC – REYNALDO, ERWIN ROMMEL TAYO
104 REYNALDO, SHAMAH REGIMEN – RODENAS, PAUL EMMANUEL REY
105 RODEO, ALMAIZA MARIE FRANCISCO – ROSALES, LLOYD BEIEL ATIENZA
106 ROSALES, MIKHAILA KLAUDINE AN – SABINO, ELHAINE MAE LOLONG
107 SABIO, EARL BRYAN PALMA – SALLY, ELENA GRACE LOCSIN
108 SALMANI, KATRINA JAYASHREE GUTIERREZ – SAN PEDRO, MARCUS JUDE PLEYTO
109 SAN PEDRO, PRESCILLA DIORGIA GUINTO – SANTOS, CHRISTIAN PAOLO MICO
110 SANTOS, CHYNNA SOPHIA ALONZO – SARMIENTO, SHAINE MARIE TANG
111 SARNE, MARAH DANICA CALONIA – SERDAN, SHARA KAYE ORONOS
112 SERDENO, HANNAH CHERYL LANIOG – SILVA, JOSE MIGUEL GERONIMO
113 SILVA, NIGEL ANDAG – SOLIS, ABBY GAIL TIROL
114 SOLIS, ARIANE CLAIRE BULADACO – SUA, FRANCIS DANIELLE MELECIO
115 SUACILLO, CARINE IRIES MARTERIO – SUYU, MA ANGELIE AGGABAO
116 SUYU, MA MESAELA BALLESTEROS – TAGALOG, KIMBERLY EVE SENARLO
117 TAGAMI, MARK IAN CALAPARAN – TAN, FRANCIS MICHAEL PADILLA
118 TAN, GABRIEL CANTARA – TARONGOY, JOHN KENNETH SILAWAN
119 TARONGOY, SARENA PALISBO – TIGLAO, JOSE ENRICO GONZALES
120 TIGLAO, LAURENCE MITCHELLE LANDICHO – TOLENTINO, ZANDY DE LEON
121 TOLENTINO, ZEIN EIRYN SINSUAT – TRINIDAD, IVAN RAYSON ESPIDOL
122 TRINIDAD, JANICA IRIS CACAL – UBAY, NIKKI JAMISON
123 UCAB, HAZEL GRACE RIGONAN – VAFLOR, DAN DEXTER LIBUNAO
124 VALARAO, REENA AMIRAH CONCEPCION – VARON, MARY FELENE DIVA
125 VARONA, CHARITY ANASTACIO – VICENTE, LYNETH PANGANIBAN
126 VICENTE, NERRISA SEPAYA – VILLANUEVA, JESSA MAE ASAYAS
127 VILLANUEVA, JOANNA NICOLE TENORIO – VIRATA, ANGELIQUE JOY NAPAO
128 VIRAY, BRYCE CORNELIUS YVANN DE LEON – YAP, HENRY OLIVER EVANGELISTA
129 YAP, JAYME MARIES GO – ZAMORA, KATE VALERIE ANNE SALDUA
130 ZAMORA, MARIEL ROIE DE LEON – ZURBITO, ROSANNE ANGEL ALMARIO

Demolition Job. It’s More Fun in the Philippines January 11, 2012

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Violence marred the demolition of an urban poor community in Corazon de Jesus, Pinaglabanan, San Juan City, Metro Manila, a known bulwark of ousted President Joseph Estrada. Several dozens residents and supporters were injured and illegally detained by police and demolition team to give way to commercial development in the prime land. Estrada’s son with incumbent mayor Guia Gomez, JV Ejercito currently serves as  congressman of the city’s lone district. Welcome to the Philippines!

 

photo by Luis Liwanag via Facebook

photo by Francis Malasig via Facebook

photo by Francis Malasig  via Facebook

STOP ALL DEMOLITION IN THE PHILIPPINES!

In Solitude January 8, 2012

Posted by pilibustero in Random Thoughts.
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