January 17, 2020

No doubt that the future is on the side of Naga City’s Ordinance No.2018-018, otherwise known as “The towing ordinance and expanded wheel clamp ordinance of Naga City. First things first however.

But it should not leave any room for confusion. Otherwise it would fall within the ambit of class legislation. To illustrate, Section 4 A identifies  wheel clamp and towing areas. 

Section 5 provides in substance that roads utilized for parking space along the circumference of the Naga City People’s Mall such as J. Hernandez Ave., General Luna St., Prieto St., and Zamora St., shall not be charged any fee if the occupancy is not more than two hours. On the other hand Section 11 provides for penalties concerning clamped or towed vehicles, the amounts of which are markedly different from those mentioned in section 5. 

The issue raised via social media on which vehicles are subject to clamping and/or towing is very relevant. A neophyte city councilor volunteered to clarify by saying that towi...

January 17, 2020

“Why is your column flagged ‘voyador’?”

That is the question often thrown at me by readers of this column, Bicolanos as well as non-Bicolanos.
“What does ‘voyador’ mean?”

To a fellow Bicolano my reply is an easy task. Voyador is our Bicol word that refers to the person who lifts the image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia at the processions held in Her honor every September in Naga. 

It is an answer brief and to the point, and we both nod our heads in agreement. We both understand not only the word but also its deep spiritual and cultural implications.

To non-Bicolanos, however, the task is not that easy. It is like asking a native-born dancer why s/he dances the way s/he does. How do you articulate what is inherent in your blood and bones? Indeed, if the dancer is one with the dance, “How can we know the dancer from the dance?” as Yeats put it.

But to present it to a larger canvas we must. So let me attempt this once and for all.

Many years ago, I felt great affinity with the voyadores and w...

January 17, 2020

Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone
-Oscar Wilde

The charm of Gainza, a town in Camarines Sur, is how, it has retained its social distance despite its being near Naga City. The town is just some 6.5 kilometers from the city.Drive for about 15 minutes from the city and the landscape suddenly changes. 

And yet it is this charm and unusual combination of accessibility and inaccessibility that are missing in Drew Arellano’s recent travel. Known as “Biyahe ni Drew,” the program takes the media celebrity to places where the unusual and the relatively unknown are discovered. Last week, it was Gainza.

It was a brief travelogue without context. 

If one is not Bikolano or Nagueño, or if one is not curious about the towns around the city, one gets this feeling the town of Gainza is found in one of most isolated spots in Luzon. And that in this village, one can learn about many things that are not in other places.

In the show, Drew Arellano goes to the ricefie...

January 17, 2020

Why can’t Bongbong Marcos just tell the truth about what his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, did during the latter’s years of dictatorial rule? The truth after all, though it hurts, matters.

Recently, Bongbong had sought to revise textbooks and change what he claimed to be lies about his late father, citing as basis the recent court decisions that dismissed ill-gotten wealth cases against him. 

The problem with Bongbong is he is suffering from ‘selective memory’, where he deliberately remembers what he wants to remember and forgets what he wants to forget. That’s when reckless imprudence becomes the norm, resulting in more forgetfulness.

It appears that he has deliberately forgotten that the Swiss Federal Supreme Court affirmed that the Marcoses hid $356 million in Swiss banks through dubious foundations during their two-decade rule.

It also appears that he has deliberately forgotten that the Sandiganbayan found his mom, Imelda Marcos, guilty of 7 counts of violating an an...

January 17, 2020

Kan amay na  parte kan dekada 30 kan naka-aguing siglo antes magbutwa si Adolf Hitler, antes magbuag an giyera mundial numero 2, duwang pinaka-madudunong na tao sa ibabaw kan kinaban---Sigmund Freud (psychiatrist/psychologist) asin si Albert Einstein (psysicist) nagsururatan sa lambang saro na naghahapot: “Why war? (Tano ta giyera?)

An duwa nagconforme na an giyera parte kan kultura kan tao asin kinaban, pirming imbuelto an violencia asin pagbulos nin dugo,na an sulusyon sa giyera giyera man giraray. Boot sabihon ang mapa-untok sa giyera, giyera man sana.

 Bakong garantiya na an dakula asin poderosong nasyon iyo an magana sa giyera kontra sa saradit ta an saradit alagad sararong nasyones pwedeng patumbahon an higante kan saradit asin sararong langatong.

Arog kaiyan si nangyari kan si Allied Forces kontra sa Axis Powers kan World War 2.

Digdi sa Pilipinas si mga Hapones na may kasurog pang mga Koreano sa tabang kan mga Amerikano napasuko kan mga guerilyang Pilipino.

Mas grabe si Vietnam...

January 17, 2020

Wait a minute. Something’s different around here.  Is it the weather?  Did they open a new shop?  Did they tear down some structure?  I was hitching a ride along General Luna, in front that legendary public market, and it felt like EDSA on a holiday, (well, on a smaller scale, that is).  Vehicles moved in a relatively much quicker pace, and the road felt less crowded. This is simply unbelievably amazing.  Just when I thought that there would be no turning back from a one hour ride from Calauag to Robinson’s, running around for a ride and daydreaming while stuck in a road cum parking lot, and we comfort ourselves with the idea that this phenomenon is an indispensable element of progress, and bask in the perception that we share the same sentiments as Metro Manila commuters, the Naga City public is suddenly blessed by jeepneys whisking through the city streets with little obstruction. The authorities did something and they did something right.  

I wish I coul...

January 17, 2020

This column commiserates with the residents and victims  of the devastations by the havoc rendered as a consequence of the eruption of Taal volcano which practically wiped out the municipalities surrounding the volcano. As a consequence thousands of residents have been evacuated to different evacuation sites in the province. And it is gratifying to note that thousands have provided relief goods such as water, food and clothing to the evacuees. Of note are the residents of Pampanga who responded without delay saying that it was time for them to pay back the generosity they received when Mount Pinatubo erupted. Different groups and civic organizations all over the country have also came up with aid and relief materials to the evacuees. It is worthwhile to note that the whole country has responded in unison in coming up with whatever they can to help. From radio reports we have heard that our city is sending to the local government of Talisay the sum of one (P1M) million pesos as its aid....

January 17, 2020

“Under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloody but unbowed… and yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find me, unafraid.” Invictus, William Ernest Henly

The assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top military commander has thrown gasoline into the fire. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s wish for Iran to deescalate after the assassination is rather wishful thinking and betrays his lack of understanding of how Iran plays the game. Iran will retaliate and will retaliate hard. It is just a question of timing and where. With so many proxies in the Middle East including the Taliban in Afghanistan, Iran is poised to launch counterattacks at a time and place of their own choosing.

The timing of the assassination is also suspect. American forces have had ample opportunity to kill him before because he was out there with the troops fighting wars in the trenches against terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS but the U.S. never carried out any assassination attempt. Was Donal...

January 17, 2020

6th Moment: Osama Bin Laden, Work Experience, and Dinner Drama

Osama bin Laden in Pakistan:
No, I did not meet him. But I almost buy a book by him in Pakistan during a short mission, only that I hesitated for fear that it might get me into trouble. They were very strict and suspicious to foreigners. They cannot even buy a phone Sim card without clearance from the police. But I was cleared to buy some good stuff like a leather pilot bag, and good copies of CD’s of classic movies like “The Messenger” and “Lion of the Desert” of the great Anthony Quinn.
I reached as far as Madan, an old district in the North Western Frontier Province of Pakistan and experienced meeting with villagers under the watchful eyes of armed men. The meeting is always attended by men, because male foreigners are not allowed to see their women. 
Work experience:
When I was assigned in Sri Lanka to work on the post-tsunami rehabilitation project of ILO, I was visited by our donor from t...

January 17, 2020

Tigsik ko ngunyan kitang mga tawo
Orog na an igwang mararaot na gibo
Panahon na para an gabos magbago
Tanganing dai mapaduman sa kalayo

Tigsik ko an mga nangyayari ngunyan
Pagbaha, linog, pagtuga nin bulkan
Pagradas nin kalayo sa mga kadlagan
Tibaad kun mga pagirumdom na iyan

Tigsik ko an  mga isip na sa kulapos
Saka sana nakakaromdom  sa Diyos
Kun inaabot nang  piligro asin pagtios
Kun nasa kasiraman lingaw na tulos

Tigsik ko an mga tawong raot an payo
Nasa peligro na sige  pang pang-insulto
Dapat makaiba na sinda sa pagalintuto
Kan abo kan bulkan nag-aalburuto

Tigsik ko man baga  an iba sa mga ina
Na sagkod ngunyan pirmi napapaluha
Nin huli sa mga aki na amay na nawara
Na pirang taon na inataman, pinadaba 

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