The news is out: from the institutional Church, there will be no Traslacion this year, no fluvial procession. 


The State, as represented by the local government unit of Naga City, declares there will be no trade fairs, no civic and military parades.


The notification is...

June 26, 2020

Is the rice we are partaking at present the same as those planted and harvested by our ancestors hundreds of years ago?


When Filipinos (and Bikolanos) talk of culture, rice is at the center of discourse. Rice and, when, harvested and processed, called by other names, i...

June 19, 2020

Remember those amusing claims Imee Marcos made, which Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez shot down one by one. Marcos first stated how the Masagana, an agricultural rice program of her father, showed an effective use of rural banks. To this, Dominguez clarified quickly...

June 11, 2020

Who will tell the stories of this pandemic a hundred or more years from now?


For all the growth of science, there will be many stories about what we are going through. Science, to paraphrase the great sociologist of knowledge, Peter Berger, is not about certainties but...

An archaeologist is making many of us unhappy about his findings. The cause of that unhappiness (in us) and the controversy is what he is positing: the Ifugao Rice Terraces are some 500 years in existence only.  That it is not ancient the way our history and social stu...

What are languages without practitioners and users to make them live long in historical eternity? Thank god I can say this: youth may be wasted on the young but wisdom also may rot and decay in old age. Thus, in poetry or literature, whether they are poets competing ag...

This lockdown is doing good art great things. Art cannot be stopped by afflictions. Artists are warriors and survivors. They fight, they struggle, and create. 


Last week, Arnel Eclarinal, alerted me of a project, a competition involving poets writing poetry in isolatio...

We – Kristian Sendon Cordero and this writer – did not really target the universe as a listener. It is just tha our small Poetry Reading project has attracted more than 100,000 viewers.


The project which began with Jaime Fabregas and continued to include actors of good...

Last night, one of the biggest, if not the biggest media conglomerate, in the country closed down. It has other companies that will remain open but Channel 2 was gone.


For those who loved for decades the offerings of the said television channel, it was sad. For those w...

April 30, 2020

Some days ago was posted online a comment made by Drew Arellano. According to the quotes, the newscaster and TV host said something like, we the human beings are the disease and Covid-19 is the cure. The world online went berserk. It is a world not noted for restraint...

April 23, 2020

With “General Borja” also on a lockdown, I decided to call up Jimmy Fabregas one day. That General has occupied the Bikolano actor’s life for a long time, but this time we wanted him, Jaime Fabregas, the Bikolano, to read for us poems written by three noted poets from...

April 15, 2020

The Holy Week has all but vanished this year in the vast Christendom.


Not wars and not overwhelming victories were ever successful in stopping the Christians from observing the rites commemorating the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. Even in the most violently hostil...

April 10, 2020

I came to this town early morning, last Sunday.


Having settled in a fancy hotel, the only one with hot bath in this poor, poor town, I immediately took a nap. Was I dreaming? There were shouts outside. I slowly got up and opened the shutters to the windows of the room:...

April 2, 2020

The history of afflictions in this region – and in the whole country - comes alive this month through a framed image that measures 61cm long and 47 cm wide. Within the frame, on a canvas is the image of Veronica, she who in one of the oldest stories of sacrifice, is a...

March 26, 2020

On March 12, 2020, I took the Bus of Fools on my way back to Naga. 


The great city of Manila was going on a lockdown. The primal urge in me was to go home. Manila was work; Naga was home. 


No one knew what lockdowns or quarantines would bring. Will I be allowed to go o...

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