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Tribute Video to the Victims of Lawlessness and Violence in Los Banos March 6, 2012

Posted by pilibustero in Personal.
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Justice to Ray Bernard Peñaranda, Rochelle Geronda and Gicen Grace Cebanico!

Krusada: “No Plastic Policy” Insights May 16, 2011

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Last week, I received an email inquiry from a staff of television program Krusada, a public-affairs documentary of media network ABS-CBN requesting for an interview regarding the No Plastic Policy implemented in Los Baños town, Laguna. It said that the program being hosted by Julius Babao will feature the non-use of plastics campaign of the town that figured prominently when it comes to waste management by virtue of its equally successful program on prohibiting and regulating plastic usage. Our Los Baños-based alliance, KALIKASAN Environmental Action Movement was identified as a reference entity. On Thursday morning, the interview was held somewhere at the foot of Mt Makiling.

Despite the short notice, I was able to hurdle the interview, the questions of which mostly pertain to the why’s and how’s of the campaign. I was speaking on my observation as an Alliance member and a Los Baños resident for eight years now and a witness to the no to plastic initiative. At some point, I injected the Alliance’s position and programs as regards the topic. For instance, as regards the impact, I echoed the belief that the non-plastic efforts are but one aspect of the whole environmental efforts to protect and preserve the environmental and should not be treated as a one-size-fits-all solution. I said that outside Los Baños, there are still larger and serious problems and threats to nature, such as mining, land conversion and development, climate change, among others. I failed to elaborate on the effluents and wastes, in solid or liquid form, coming from the industrial enclaves in Laguna’s 1st District which by the way also constitutes pollution of Laguna Lake. This and the bulk of waste from domestic sources contribute to the further degradation of the lake.

On the success of the campaign, I said that based on observations, it relatively caused behavior change among residents and businesses when it comes to consciousness on non-use of plastics and use of alternative or indigenous materials as containers. However, I reiterated the fact that success rate of the campaign on the long term depends on the will of the local leadership in terms of monitoring and ensuring the efficient implementation of the law. Otherwise, a return to the old ways is not a far possibility.

Ode to the Summer Snow April 15, 2011

Posted by pilibustero in Arts & Culture, Personal.
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Indeed, UPLB, or Los Baños for that matter, is tantamount to nature and its underlying wonders.

When I was still in college, it awes me to see the unique display of nature’s wonders expressed through the shedding of cotton like material from the kapok (Ceiba pentandra) tree prevalent in Mt Makiling and inside the campus. This emergent tree of tropical adaptation has the ability to produce its own cotton-like fibers within its elongated ‘fruit’, which imminently cracks during summer, giving way to the shedding. The fiber is light, highly buoyant and very resilient, hence, the illusion of a snow fall during these times of the year. However, in recent years, some individuals (including my former professor) observed an unusual delay if not non-occurence of the ‘snow fall’, including that of the narra leaves and flowers surrounding the Humanities building. Hypothetical ideas suggest that this may have to do with climate change.


Ode to the UPLB Winter (2009)

This year’s nature extravaganza of some sort is exceptional (see photo). But more than than the aesthetic appeal of the shedding, lies a meaningful semblance to students. That these times of the year highlighted by the snow fall, signify survival and triumph from the rigid education in UP. On the other hand, for others whose fate are hanging, the kapok tree is a constant reminder of determination and consistency. While for alumni (like me) and others who frequent the campus, this is an added purse to UPLB’s identity. Remembering this summer scene ellicit some amounts of nostalgia and reminiscence.

(photo courtesy of kreg) *This was originally posted in April 2009

Arouse, Organize, Mobilize July 24, 2010

Posted by pilibustero in Politics & Society.
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I was moved to write on this post after seeing this the huge turnout in the latest University-wide walkout for Education at UP Baguio, leading to P-Noy’s SONA. When I say huge, around 1500 of the 2,000 students of UPB went out of their classes in protest of the prevailing 300% tuition fee and other fee increase (TOFI) in the UP System, the consistent budget cut for UP and the Education sector as a whole and the incessant commercialization scheme in state colleges and universities. A simultaneous protest was also held by UP Los Baños students in Congress through a State of the Youth Address, but this was faced by violence and intimidation by PNP elements.

Personally, this is the first time in recent years that I saw such a significant turnout in terms of warm bodies attending a broad protest calling for a variety of issues surrounding the education sector. And it agitated and pushed me more to continue in our task of educating the students in the university to progressively take on the challenge of every UP student to serve the people by fighting for our democratic rights and welfare for a quality and accessible education.