November 20, 2020

Several ideas are now on the drawing board in response to the severely damaging natural calamities, the latest of which are super typhoons Ulysses, Rolly and Quinta. Most prominently mentioned are the revival of the Bicol River Basin Development Program (BRBDP), regular dredging of water ways, construction of catch basin and relocation of those inhabiting along the shorelines within the eastern side of the region.

A closer look at the proposals shows that a comprehensive integrated development planning pursuant to the BRBDP approach would be most ideal. Most of the proposals can be treated as sub projects. 

A comprehensive developmental approach however would involve trillions of pesos. In fact it has been gathered that some studies initiated by BRBDP planners and consultants had been shelved-off due to issues on feasibility. Among them are the Pantao bay channel-tunnel-channel; the cut –off channels cutting through the areas from Baliwag, Minalabac to San Vicente, Libmanan and the Pul...

November 20, 2020

Ulysses is the Roman name for Odysseus who after taking part in sacking Troy, went all around in adventures in the Mediterranean Sea to go home to his admirably loyal wife to knock down all his wife’s shameless suitors who had presumed his death and had taken it that he would be not much of a threat.  So, maybe that’s why he had to go around for too long.  Rolly was tough; but at least, we had the chance to clean up early in the afternoon.  (To whom could I relate Rolly?  One of Dolphy’s sons?)

There was so much talk about how the typhoon took us all to a surprise, how everyone did not expect  it to be that nasty.  Wait.  Let’s process that for a while.  PAGASA or Mike Padua (whom I hope has had his generator running already) reports a coming typhoon.  Do you go about your normal business if it doesn’t reach the supertyphoon armagedonic deluge level?  Because the storm has not touched the titanic time of the Day after Tomorrow, would you go around driving around downtown...

November 20, 2020

The little boy in the house had been waking up at three in the morning. We saw that as one of those natural tantrums all children go through. The regularity of it, however, became disturbing. With the regular medical check-ups all accounted for, the condition was seen as not one that could be answered – or cured – by Western-oriented medical discipline. One option was left: to bring the boy to a healer.

In another house, the story is of a man nearly seventy years of age complaining of bodily discomfort. He was brought to his doctor, who, in turn, recommended that he be admitted to a hospital. After a few days of observation and medicine, the man was discharged. And yet, he felt something was troubling him or affecting his body. He suggested they secure the services of a healer.

I write this with the perspective of an anthropologist whose first academic paper was on “Santiguar” or “Santigwar,” the healing process common in the region and found also in other places in the country, but wi...

November 20, 2020

Thanksgiving Day will be quite different this year. As I write this, New York City is bracing for a second wave of COVID-19 infections spike. Yesterday, the New Jersey DOH recorded its highest daily case totals ever (more than 3, 877 cases in one day alone). As infections surge, both states have initiated statewide restrictions which include strict observances of weekday curfews. 

This time of year, people are starting to go indoors. Because of this, only a while ago, the governor of NY has passed an executive order limiting all family gatherings to not more than 10 people.  

Normally, my wife would have already brought in all the ingredients for Pancit Malabon as our contribution to her family’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner at her sister’s house. It’s an annual ceremony we’ve never missed.

Although an American celebration, not many of us are aware that Thanksgiving was once a Philippine celebration. During the American occupation of the Philippines from 1901 to 1935 Thanksgiving wa...

November 20, 2020

At the heart of the 3-credit course in Classical Studies that I took when I was in college at the Ateneo de Manila University were Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey.

Many students avoided taking Classical Studies because the Jesuit professor had a reputation of being super strict, apart from requiring his students to read in advance what would be discussed in class on a particular day.

I took the class because I was a philosophy major. I wanted to find out for myself what the impact was of Greek literature on philosophy. 

I learned many English phrases from the class like Achilles Heel, Trojan Horse, Oedipus Complex, to mention a few. However, what sticks in my mind is hubris, a Greek word that usually means a character flaw that describes an arrogant and a powerful person who crosses normal human limits and, in the process, is punished by the gods. For the Greeks, hubris connotes a powerful person who thinks that he is equal to the gods and acts accordingly resu...

November 20, 2020

An mga opisyal asin mga empleyado/empleyada kan gobyerno asin pribadong sektor, pag-abot kan tamang edad na magretira sa trabaho may natitipon na pondo na kinaltas sa saiyang sweldo na saiyang marerecibe lagduan asin dikit-dikit, halimbawa kada bulan bilang pensyon para sa saiyang paragastos lalo na sa bulong, medisina asin pagkakan.

Iyan an pensyon, pwedeng hali sa GSIS kun taga gobyerno asin SSS kun sa pribado.

Naka deposito na iyan sa banko na pwedeng makobra over the counter o sa paagui nin ATM (automatic tellering machine).

Dyan minapoon an problema.

Iba man an kaso kan mga retirado sa US Navy na dolyar an pensyon asin nakadeposito sa pribadong banko.

Nag-aaragawan an mga depository banks kan darakulang pensyon kan mga retiradong US Navy. May nangyari ngani na sarong rural bank an nag-ofrecir nin mas halangkaw na interest kan nakadepositong kwarta kun ikukumpara sa ibang banko.

An siste ta nagsara an banko ta nalugui daa, nawalat lang an deposito kan duwang darakulang tao alagad s...

November 20, 2020

The recently concluded presidential elections in the United States which gave president-elect Joseph Biden and his running mate Vice-Presidential elect Kamala Harris a sizable majority both in the popular and electoral college votes must have given our Filipino migrants in the US peace of mind. Contrary to former President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, Biden is known to welcome immigrants in the United States who invariably help boost the US economy as they are engaged in economic endeavors including as farm workers. Hence, the election of the two Democrats to their respective positions must be a welcome event to our fellow Filipinos abroad. 

The recent natural calamities which devastated a large part of our country have brought to fore the resiliency of the Filipinos. TV photages readily show the vast destruction and unabated flooding both in Luzon and Mindanao even as victims try to recoup and rehabilitate whatever they can. Many good Samaritans have likewise shown their co...

November 20, 2020

Tigsik ko an Rehiyon Bikol na nanganaan na
Sa mga bagyo na nangradas nin kabuhayan ta
Bilyon an danyos sa infrastraktura,agrikultura
Pagbangon kan mga Bikolano kayang-kaya daa

Tigsik ko, mga lugar na sagkod ngunyan baha
An alipong baga iyo an sinasapo nin pangana
Mga bitis magatol, rulugad na asin ta nalalapa
Pirang aldaw pa, mamamarong na nin mabata

 Tigsik ko ining mga internet na bagulbulon
  Na sagkod ngunyan mayu pa nin koneksyon
  Alagad kun masiringil apritado, mga listuhon
  Nakakaperwisyo sa mga igwa nin transaksyon

 Tigsik ko man mga bungog, paslo na pulitiko
  Na nagbubuta-butahan sa mga pangangaipo
  Kan mga tawong nagbugtak sa inda sa pwesto
  Orog na an mga nagin biktima kan mga bagyo

Tigsik ko man an mga gurang na o guragod
Gusto man kuta magpaimbong kun tig-lipot
May mga babayi na habo na, pirmi pa anggot
kaya si manoy minasaludo na sana man logod 

November 13, 2020

Photos posted via social media project NEA administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong and PHILRECA Partylist Representative Presley De Jesus visiting CASURECO II personally welcoming and expressing gratitude and appreciation to the so called Warriors of Lights from INEC, ISECO, CENPELCO, LUELCO, PANELCO I  and PANELCO III.

They were deployed to the Bicol Region to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of CASURECO’S power lines extensively damaged by Typhoon Rolly. The news release says the ECs will be fielded at several areas within the coverage of CASURECO II. For sure the pictures will draw conflicting reactions, both positive and negative. From the positive side it could be interpreted superficially as a genuine concern of the personalities involved. 

On the negative side it could be described as nothing but photo-ops. For after all whether they come or not there is that long standing arrangement among electric cooperatives of helping one another in times of calamities like Typhoon...

November 13, 2020

I already knew beforehand that this year’s November 1 would be different.  But I thought it would be unlike those of the past years’ because we won’t be going to the cemeteries for All Saints Day traditions in compliance to the nationwide restrictions due to prevention of Covid infection.  What I didn’t know was even if the government had not released directives not to flock the memorial parks, none of us would be able to do it anyway because supertyphoon Rolly would roll us all over like a rollercoaster ride.  Judging from the numbers, this menace has got to be the meanest of them all.  I didn’t know that typhoon signal number 5 was within PAGASA’s alert signals.  Don’t they go up just until 4?  Signal no. 4 itself is rare enough.  We might as well have dug a hole on the ground and took a dive because 5 was alive.  Amid the haze in the horizon where pedicabs spun around, tricycles got blown off to fall on ditches and g.i. sheets flew across  as if they were Aladdin’s magic carpet, I w...

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