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Tungkol sa pag-upo ni Ynik Ante, mga rally, at anik-anik pang cheverloo March 3, 2012

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Note: This repost is an opinion essay by an org brod on the case involving our sis, Ynik Ante (SAKBAYAN), the duly elected Chairperson of the UPLB University Student Council last February 22-24 elections. Despite the legitimate mandate of the Iskolar ng Bayan of UPLB, the Central Electoral Board maliciously decided not to proclaim Ante and instead recommended the proclamation of BUKLOD-UPLB’s standard bearer, Joyce Divino (2nd Place) on grounds of technicality due to a supposed late-payment of tuition fee of Ms Ante. Apparently, Ante was able to have her Form 5 marked registered on the same day the CEB ruled against her. This is in effect rendered the CEB ruling moot. However, the CEB led by OSA Director Lt. Col Vivian Gonzales continues to disregard the mandate of Ms Ante, which is an utter insult and brazen violation of students rights. 

ni John Mervin Embate

Studyante ka muna bago ka maging leader?

Sa ibang aspekto, oo, maaari. Subalit sa kabilang banda,alalahanin mo na mamamayan ka muna ng bayan bago ka naging estudyante, at tungkulin mo na maglingkod. Mandatory yun, mga hijo at hija. Kung mag-aaral ka ng Pamantasan ng Pilipinas, wala kang choice kung hindi ang maglingkod. Yun nga lang, may tunay at may japeyk — kahit naman sa totoong buhay hindi ba?

At papaano mo ihihiwalay ang mga tunay na naglilingkod sa naglilingkod-lingkuran lang?

Ang naglilingkod, kayang magsakripisyo. Kayang ihanay ang prayoridad sa buhay — iuna ang pagsisilbi kaysa sa gimik, kaysa pamilya, kaysa sarili, at oo, sa pag-aaral.

Nakatrabaho ko si Ynik sa maraming pagkakataon. Sis ko siya. Kaibigan ko siya. At alam ko kung ano ang inilalaan niya para magsilbi, para maglingkod sa bayan, para sa mga estudyante. Sabihin na natin, na, oo, medyo hindi nga siya kabilang sa mga estudyante sa unibersidad na laging nagta-top sa klase, hindi nga siya yung tipo na tuta ng mga professors, pero hindi matatawaran ang oras at pawis at dugo na inaalay niya para sa pamantasan, at para sa mga estudyante na bumubuo sa kalakhan nito.

Tapos sasabihin ninyo na hindi siya mabuting ehemplo sa mga estudyante?

Hindi ko ito sinasabi dahil lang sa Sis ko sya. O dahil kaibigan ko siya. O dahil pula ako (oo, inaamin ko) at suportado ko ang pag-rarally sa lansangan. Sinasabi ko ito dahil ito ang alam kong tama, at ito ang ipinamulat sa akin ng apat na taon kong pananatili sa unibersidad.

At hindi ko lubos na masikmura ang paninira sa kanya ng mga tao. Hiling niyo at pakiusap ang katotohanan sa bawat posts niyo, sa bawat rantings niyo, ngunit laman ba nitong mga “sabi-sabi” na to ang katotohanan at katotohanan lamang?

Mahaba at nakakaburat ang usapin tungkol dito sa karapatan ni Ynik na maupo bilang USC Chair. Pero nagsalita na ang balota. Pinayagan syang kumandidato. Hinarang nung una, oo. Pero pumayag din. At ngayong nanalo. Tapos biglang babawiin?! Ano to, pawnshop?

Subalit ang hindi ko mas lalong matanggap ay ang mga estudyante na may negatibong pagkiling sa pagrarally. Well, hindi naman trabaho ng mga nag-rarally na i-please at i-pamper ang lahat ng estudyante. Pero nakakatawa lang. Tila lumalabas kasi na ang mga estudyante ngayon ay wala ng utang na loob at respeto sa mga taong naglalaan ng oras, ng panahon, nagsasakripisyo na magbilad sa araw, magpakabasa sa ulan, pipigilan pa ng mga pulis, mumurahin (kulang na lang duraan sa mukha), aarestuhin, ikulong, yapakan ang karapatan — lahat ng ito para lamang maisulong at maihain ang kanilang pinaglalaban. At sa impormasyon niyo lamang po, KAYO po ang kanilang pinaglalaban. Hindi po nila ito ginagawa para lamang makalamang. Hindi po nila ito ginagawa bilang pogi-points. Ginagawa po nila ito dahil ang layon po nila ay mapanatiling matatag ang karapatan ng mga estudyante at ng mga marginalized sector ng lipunan.

Oh eto. Isang bulok pero relevant na halimbawa. Nung pumutok ang TOFI, sino ang naunang ipinaglaban ang karapatan mong magbayad ng tamang tuition para sa isang state university? At ano nga bang batch mo, hijo, hija? ‘08? ‘09? ‘10? Teh, hindi ka pa estudyante ng UP, yung kapakanan mo na ang ibinabalandra nila sa kalsada.

At pagkatapos, sasabihin niyo na naiinis kayo sa mga nagrarally? Na porke may karapatan silang magrally, e pwede na silang magrally kahit kelan nila gusto? Hindi po ito pagtetext, o pag-iinternet, o pag-mamasturbate na pwede niyong gawin kung kelan niyo naisin. May purpose po ito. May halaga. At nakakalungkot na ipinaglalaban nila ang mga taong walang-pake, mga taong-kebs, kumbaga, mga taong tae.

Ikaw ba, ano na bang nagawa mo sa pamantasan? Sa palagay mo ba ang pag-aaral at pag-eexcel sa klase ay sapat lang? Isa kang mabuting estudyante kung gagraduate ka with honors. Pero naging mabuti ka bang mamamayan?

Tandaan mo, hindi ka lang estudyante sa Pamantasan ng Pilipinas; estudyante ka NG Pamantasan ng Pilipinas. Magkaibang-bagay yun. Bitibit mo ang pangalan ng iyong bayan kaya mayroong nakapatong na responsibilidad sa’yo para maglingkod. At ang paglilingkod na iyon ay tagus-tagusan mula sa simpleng pag-upo sa klase, pakikinig sa titser, pagsusulat ng notes, pagpapaphoto-copy ng handouts, at pampeperpek sa eksam. Kung ganoon kang klaseng estudyante, sabihin mo nga, anong pinagkaiba mo sa estudyante ng ibang pamantasan? (Pero sa loob-loob mo, kung makapagsabi ka ng UP and Others, aba, kapal mo lang!)

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2011 Bar Exam Results February 29, 2012

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Congrats to our new lawyers, SERVE THE PEOPLE!

2011 Bar Exam Results

In Solitude January 8, 2012

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Ampatuan Massacre– Still No Justice, Two Years Hence November 24, 2011

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Yesterday, November 23 marked the second year of the Ampatuan Massacre, popularly known as the Maguindanao Massacre, the world’s single worst attack on journalists elsewhere. Fifty-eight innocent lives were lost in a day, including some 30 journalists, while the 59th body is still nowhere to be found. Two years, hence, under a new government that boast of culpability and accountability as its battle cry, justice remains elusive. Although cases were filed and the brains are already incarcerated, judgement is still far from over and may take a ‘lifetime’ given the current pace and justice system in the country. While some 101 suspects still roam free. Perhaps, every year, around this time, we shall be devoting some time and effort to join the families and friends of the victims in seeking for ultimate justice.

JUSTICE, NOW! CONVICT THE AMPATUANS! END IMPUNITY IN THE PHILIPPINES!

PS. While on a trip in Davao last May, our group happened to share the resort we stayed with Gov. Toto Magudadatu and his family. I was looking for timing to approach him, perhaps just to greet or photo ops, but the security is tight (even while he was jetski-ing) and of course, not spoiling the family privacy. But our eyes were all on them, especially a kid (which we assume as his child) and recalling and reflecting on the massacre.

Watch the 1st AGITPROP International Film Festival @ UPLB August 25, 2011

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Lord is Lord, not Lourd July 7, 2011

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This made my day! Screencap via my Tumblr: lordnomore.tumblr.com Really, the lady is a fan of Lourd De Veyra regardless of other’s profile and profile picture.

Inquirer’s Youngblood: BIG DREAMER June 24, 2011

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Last night I finally had the guts to re-open “Bobby.” You might think I am crazy, but yes that is the name I gave to my scrap book. I guess those dried santan flowers which were once red, those fastfood receipts, those Juicy Fruit wrappers, and those old letters from a friend now resting in between the pages of Bobby prove that I am one sentimental junkie. So I turned the pages and saw my past unfold before my eyes. And it was on the the final page that I felt the deepest sadness, bitterness and regret. That page contains two envelopes: one from the registrar of the University of the Philippines Manila, the other from the office of Sen. Mar Roxas.

For the record, I was one high school student who excelled in academics. Not a nerd, but not cool either – just one big dreamer. And two years ago, my big dream brought me to the UPCAT testing center in Ilocos Sur, as one among more than 60,000 graduating high school students who aspired to study at the University of the Philippines.
Months passed, and then I received my letter from the registrar of UP-Manila. I had made it, the only one from our school that did. I was ecstatic. But only for a moment. Once I finished reading the letter, I immediately realized that studying in UP was next to impossible. Being an Iskolar ng Bayan can be costly.

My life story would make a good material for “Maalaala Mo Kaya.” I was an only child. I remember being showered with all the earthly pleasures a child could imagine: school bags with wheels, toys that came with kid’s meals, etc. But then that chapter of my life ended abruptly when my father, who was working abroad, had to come home after being diagnosed with throat cancer. He died when I was 10. My mom and I were left alone. We were broke.

I remember how my mother struggled to support my education. In first year in high school, I had just one uniform. When I went home from school, my mother would immediately wash my uniform and hang it without squeezing so that there would be no creases when it became dry in the morning. We had no choice: we didn’t have a flat iron or electricity at home.

More depressing things happened during my first two years in high school. I didn’t receive my PE uniform on time since we hadn’t paid for it yet. I photocopied pages from my classmate’s workbook in Values Education because I didn’t have P120 to buy the book. Once I got home dripping wet because I had to walk under the rain from school to where I could get a tricycle going to our barrio since I just had enough money for the trip home.

In my third year of high school, I took the big leap of living with my aunt. My mom had found a new partner and had given birth to my only sibling. At first I was against their relationship, but I eventually realized that there was an emptiness in my mother’s heart that I could not fill. Maybe it was pride which made me move out of our house, but it was clear to me that they had their lives to live, and I had mine.

During my free days, I would help with the chores as my aunt ran their business. In return, she sent me to school.
But even before I graduated, my aunt told me frankly that they could not afford to send me to college – not even if I were to become an Iskolar ng Bayan. They had children of their own to feed and send to school. I was grateful for every support they had given me.

So why didn’t I apply for a scholarship or enrol under a “no income” status? But studying in UP does not merely involve getting free tuition. How would I cover my other expenses? I had to eat. I had to have a place to sleep. I had to do projects. Where would I get the money for all these?

I was desperate. I wanted to go to UP that I even considered selling my soul if somebody would buy it.
I thought of a way to get there. I wrote a letter to the office of Sen. Loren Legarda, asking for help. I received no reply. That was strike one.

I drafted another letter and sent it to the office of Sen. Mar Roxas who was then running for vice president. One month later, I received a response from his chief of staff saying they couldn’t give me a scholarship since the Department of Budget and Management had not released the senator’s Priority Development Assistance Fund. That was strike two. And I stopped there, afraid that I wouldn’t know how to handle strike three.

So that was how my dream of being an Iskolar ng Bayan ended. I looked for a scholarship in our province, and luckily I found one. Now, I am on my way to becoming a high school teacher.

I had never, not even in my wildest dreams, pictured myself as a teacher, but I had no choice. The scholarship was for an Education course. It was a choice between taking Education or not getting a higher education at all.

So now, I don’t dream big anymore. They say one should always dream big since dreaming is free anyway. But the bigger the dream, the greater the disappointment when it does not come true. Too bad that I had to be rejected first before I realized this.

I salute John Gabriel Pelias for topping this year’s batch of UP graduates. Breaking the post-war academic record despite coming from a poor family was truly amazing. But let me correct his claim that lack of money is never a hindrance once someone gets the chance to become an Iskolar ng Bayan. As my case proves, it is.

Lyndon John S. de Leon, 18, is a 2nd year Bachelor in Secondary Education student at the Divine Word College of Vigan.

Reference: http://opinion.inquirer.net/6787/big-dreamer

AGITPROP International Film Festival, July 2-4 @ UP Diliman June 18, 2011

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COMPLETE DETAILS HERE: http://agitpropfilmfest.wordpress.com/

Oscar’s Marathon March 11, 2011

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I’m just three films short to completely finishing the 10 Oscar-nominated films for 2010. Perhaps out of curiosity and self satisfaction that got me entangled in this sort of addiction despite my indifference with the Hollywood-type of film. Here’s my belated selection for the best picture, in no particular order except for the

1. King’s Speech

2. Black Swan

3. 127 Hours

4. The Social Network

5. Inception

6. The Fighter

7. Toy Story 3

for the three remaining films, hopefully I can get you this weekend and Vuze would cooperate.

*credits to IMDB for the posters

A Cosmopolitan and Paradise Experience: Camiguin & Cagayan de Oro February 13, 2011

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It’s been a week now since we arrived from a sought-after pre-summer/post christmas tropical vacation in Cagayan de Oro City, en route to our destination: Camiguin. Although our itinerary is relatively short (2D/2N), it was nevertheless a worthy and amazing trip thus far. And I couldn’t thank you my batchmate, Kaekae for the, who knows-once-in-a-life-time excursion trip on her birthday. I was with Alfie aka Fifi who is also a batchmate.


daghang salamat to Traveler’s Pod for the modest and unique accommodation in CDO and to kuya Junior (Camiguin driver)