Tuesday, August 13, 2019

John Denver Trending

This boy created a new Facebook account and made 4 thousand friends in 4 days.
Here's the usual weekend for him: taking a dip with friends at the cleanest river in the Philippines, which is just a few steps away from their place.

Given the interest and enthusiasm the film has generated, there’s a good chance that there will be more scheduled screenings in commercial movie houses. Watch out for it.

The movie is close to my heart (pounded to the core during the almost two-hour screening) for two reasons: First, the movie is in Kinaray-a, the language of my province- Antique. It has English subtitles for non-Antiqueños. Second, it’s about the scourge of online disinformation – the issue that our group, VERA Files, is actively helping to fight.

The movie revolves around a mild-mannered 8th grade pupil, John Denver (portrayed with utmost sensitivity by 14-year-old Jansen Magpusao) who found himself in the center of a town’s turmoil when he was wrongly suspected of stealing a classmate’s I-pad.

The issue got complicated when a classmate posted a video of a fight between John Denver and a bully classmate.

The movie was shot in its entirety in Pandan, a town in the northern part of Antique ,where the family of the current representative, Loren Legarda, comes from. The Zaldivar family (the late Supreme Court Justice Calixto Zaldivar, former Governor Enrique Zaldivar, former Governor Sally Perez-Zaldivar) are also from Pandan.

The movie is rich in local sound and color. One even hears in the background the” tiktik.” In our childhood days, we were told that was the sound of the “aswang.”

In building scene after scene, the director, Arden Rod Condez, deftly integrated local culture, customs and tradition, the superstitions with modern day daily life. The ending is heartbreaking. The audience that filled the CPP main theater was quiet when the movie ended. It took them a little while to recover and applaud.

Nazamel Tabares of Pelikula Mania said in his film review: “It’s an experience. Right after its turning point, you feel you’re part of what seems to be a series of mess. And what resulted to that mess are people judging and adding gas to a fire that’s already spreading wildly. You get to be in the middle of that mess, of that fire. And it’s probably one of the worst feelings you could ever have.

“This is the first film of Arden Rod Condez and it’s amazing how focused his storytelling is. How effective and how brilliant he delivers his messages through this film. And I applaud him for that.”

We are so proud of our kasimanwa, Arden Rod Condez.

For the Antiqueños who trooped to the gala night at the CCP last Tuesday, another high was the sound of Kinaray-a in the elegant lobby of the CCP. Philippine Star defense reporter Jaime Laude, who is from the town of Valderrama, found it delightfully amazing.
Writer Glenn Sevilla Mas, who had a big part in the movie as well as in the making of the movie, said in Facebook: “More than anything else, what made me proudest last night was seeing and hearing our own--language, culture, people, landscapes--at the CCP Main Theater. And in front of fellow Filipinos and in the company of hundreds of fellow Karay-a, too! Kruhay gid!"

Sally Perez’ daughter, Roselyn, who is into theater, posted in Facebook: "Iba lang talaga to hear the dialect. Hits you in a deeper place. More power. I can’t wait for the next Kiniray-a film."
reposted article from ellen tordisillas

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Hiwaga ng Buhay

Bago tayo magsawa sa paulit-ulit nating ulam, lakad-lakad muna tayo sa kalsada para makita nating maraming tao na kahit malinis na tubig ay hindi makatikim. 
Bago tayo magsawa sa bahay nating walang aircon, silip tayo sa ilalim ng footbridge para makita natin yung mga taong nakatira doon na kahit matinong pader at bubong ay wala sila.
Bago tayo magsawa sa kakagawa ng assignments, projects, thesis, papers at kung ano-ano pa, bisita tayo sa bundok para makita nating maraming kabataang tulad mo ang nangangarap na gawin yang mga pinagsasawaan mo na. 
Bago tayo magsawa sa asawa natin, try nating lumugar sa sitwasyon ng mga biyudo/biyuda na nag-aasam na sana buhay pa ang asawa nila. 
Bago tayo magsawa sa trabaho natin, basa-basa tayo ng balita nang malaman natin kung ilang milyong Pilipino ang nagkakandarapa na makahanap ng trabaho. 
Bago tayo magsawa sa kaka-alaga ng makulit, pasaway at maligalig nating anak, subukan nating kamustahin yung mga mag-asawang nangangarap ngunit hindi nabiyayaan ng anak. 
Bago tayo mag-sawa sa araw-araw na routine ng buhay natin, pasok tayo sa bilangguan nang malaman nating maraming tao ang naghahangad na maging malaya tulad natin. 
Bago tayo magsawa sa buhay natin at bago natin naising mamatay nalang, dalaw tayo sa hospital para makita nating may mga taong nakikipaglaban para sa buhay nila…handang maubos ang lahat-lahat sa kanila mabuhay lang sila.
Hindi ko sinasabing mas mapalad tayo o mas mapalad sila. 
Pero sa tingin ko mas mapalad ang taong mapagpasalamat. 
Kasi ang kapayapaan, satisfaction at kaligayahan nila ay wala sa ganda o panget ng sitwasyon nila kundi nasa Dios na pinagmumulan ng lahat. 

“Be grateful for small things, big things and everything in between. Count your blessings and not your problems. Focus on the Giver and not on the gifts.”

Thursday, September 13, 2018

May Forever

Nagsimula ang lahat sa pagtitig
At tumagal lagpas sa isang segundo
Isip ko'y umiikot sa'yo
Naghangad ng tunay na pag-ibig
Na paninindigan ikaw at ako
Walang hanggang pinangako mo

Yung puso ko nahulog sa'yo
Hala unti-unting nagbabago
Yung puso ko, nahulog sa'yo
Pero bakit 'di mo sinalo

May forever sa edsa
May forever sa iyong mga mata
Ang tagal mo rin naghintay
Pilit na sinuway ang tadhana
May forever sa pila
You said you never let go
Pang habang buhay ka pa
May forever sa lahat ng 'to
Ba't kaya, tayo wala

Tumagal naman tayo for 2 years
And for the longest time I thought this was it
Nalingat lang saglit
Nasan na ang pangako mong forever sinta
Oh no, tell me bakit nagbago ang ihip
Nang hangin natin noo'y nag iinit
Akala ko tunay na
Bakit naglaho nung nakita mo siya

'Yung luha ko natraffic sa'yo
Hindi pa natuwa, binangga mo
'Yung luha ko natraffic sa'yo
Paano ba patitigilin 'to

May forever sa edsa
May forever noon sa 'yong mga mata
Ang tagal mo rin naghintay
Pilit na sinuway ang tadhana
May forever sa pila
You said you never let go
Pero ngayon nasan ka
May forever sa lahat ng 'to
Ba't kaya

May forever sa edsa
Nagbago ka baby
Have you seen us lately
Sagad na sagad na ako
Paano tayo humantong sa dulo
May forever sa fort
Sa Makati
Your love turned too lately
I'm done with the waiting
Hindi naniniwala sa'yo
Panandalian ang forever mo

May forever sa edsa
May forever pala sa pagiging tanga
May forever sa moving on
Pero life goes on
Kaya na

Gaya ng nawala ka
Nang forever mo ay
Sa piling na ng iba
May forever sa lahat ng 'to
Ba't kaya
Tayo wala

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Ang Alamat ng EDSA

Once upon a time there was a farmer named Eduardo and a haciendera named Saturnina. Eduardo lived with the northern families while Saturnina lived with the Southerners. One day during a town fiesta, Eduardo met Saturnina and the two fell in love instantly. They met in secret for fear of getting caught by Saturnina’s strict parents. Because of this, the only time they could be together is when Saturnina ventures to the North for her studies escorted in secret by Eduardo and when Eduardo goes south to sell his produce, accompanied by Saturnina in disguise. One day, Saturnina got caught while she was up north and was summoned to go back south. Eduardo knew they’d never see each other again, so he wished that their journey south would take as long as a lifetime so that they can be together forever. A diwata heard Eduardo’s wish and felt bad for him. With one enchantment, the Diwata cast a spell on the road so that they can keep moving to their destination forever in each other’s company. Eduardo and Saturnina never reached the south. Some say that Eduardo and Saturnina are still traveling the road, which people renamed after the two – the Eduardo Saturnina road which was later shortened to EDSA – forever bearing the enchantment that anybody travelling there will take forever to get to their destination – a symbol of Eduardo and Saturnina’s unmoving and unending love for each other.

That is why, some nights you will still hear the cries of Saturnina’s family in anguish when traveling that very same road. “Hayop ka EDSA, gumalaw ka naman!”

The end.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Bus ban on EDSA

Violators of the ordinance will be fined P2,000.

Buses coming from the provinces are no longer allowed to ply EDSA during the rush hours starting August 15, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced.

Under the proposed scheme, buses coming from the north shall end their route in Cubao, Quezon City while those coming from the south shall end their route in Pasay City.

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian joined MMDA and Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) officials at the inspection of Valenzuela Interim Terminal to assess if it can operate as a station for provincial buses starting August 15.

The policy takes effect during “rush hours” or from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Violators will be slapped with a P2,000 fine.

Garcia said the five-hectare terminal in Valenzuela City has yet to comply with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) requirement, including the installation of waiting sheds, comfort rooms, and walkways, among others, before provincial buses can fully utilize the facility.

Once operational, provincial buses coming from the north can drop off their passengers inside the terminal located on Paso de Blas Road where Metro Manila-bound commuters can transfer to city buses.

Among these are the establishment of designated areas for provincial and city buses; management of queues for jeepneys, buses and UV Express vans that share the terminal; and completion of waiting sheds for passengers.

Nevertheless, the MMDA will still implement on August 15 the ban of provincial buses on EDSA during rush hours.

This means that starting August 15, MMDA personnel will begin apprehending provincial buses on EDSA from 7am to 10am and 6pm to 9pm.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


The Epifanio de los Santos Avenue is the main thoroughfare in Metro manila passing through six of the capital's 17 local government units. This includes the Santolan and Socorro districts, where the twin military bases of Camp Rafael Crame and Camp Aguinaldo, are located. Since it was the Martial Law, it was also where Marcos' main line of defense lies.

The 24-kilometer long Avenue, however, wasn't always called EDSA. It went through a long of history of changed names:

1) North-South Circumferential Road
Construction of what was intended to be a two-way highway started in the 1930s, during the term of President Manuel L. Quezon, and ended in 1940. The team was led by engineers Florencio Moreno and Osmundo Monsod.

The road started from the North Diversion Road (today the North Luzon Expressway) and ended at the current Magallanes Interchange of the South Luzon Expressway, thus the North-South in its original name.

2) Avenida 19 de Junio
After the independence of the Philippines from the American occupation (1946), the road was renamed Avenida 19 de Junio to commemorate the birthday of Philippine hero Jose Rizal.

3) Highway 54
It was again renamed by American administrators in the 1950s to Highway 54 because of the common misconception that the avenue stretches to 54 kilometers in length. The real measure is actually 30 kilometers less.

4) Epifanio de los Santos Avenue
By virtue of Republic Act 2140 in 1959, the road was renamed to honor Filipino intellectual and historian Epifanio de los Santos. Former Senate President Eulogio Rodriguez Sr. started this movement, and upon his death, Atty. Juan Francisco Sumulong completed the campaign. Besides NHCP, groups that approved of the name change included the Philippine Historical Association, the Philippine Library Association, and the Philippine National Historical Society.

Epifanio de los Santos or "Don Panyong" (1871-1928) was often regarded as the greatest Filipino genius after Rizal. Noted historian Gregorio Zaide described him as a rare genius because of his encyclopedic knowledge. He was a scholar, lawyer, historian, journalist, jurist, philosopher, bibliophile, biographer, philologist, painter, poet, musician, literary critic, politician, librarian, biographer, translator, linguist, researcher, and philanthropist. He wasn't only fluent in Spanish, English, French, and German but also has excellent command in Philippine languages like Ibaloi, Tingian, and Ita.

Despite being one of the best Filipino writers in Spanish and being the first Filipino to become a member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Language, Literature, and History in Madrid, he wrote extensively in Tagalog. He was a member of the Samahan ng mga Mananagalog, which was founded by Felipe Calderon.

He championed Philippine independence through journalism and became the associate editor of the influential revolutionary paper, La Independencia, in 1898. He also co-founded patriotic publications like La Libertad, El Renacimienta, La Democracia, and La Patria.

De los Santos also served as a member of the Malolos Congress. He was the first governor of Nueva Ecija in 1902 and again in 1904. He was then appointed provincial fiscal of Bulacan and Bataan. Interestingly, he wrote an essay "Fraudes electorales y sus remedios" (Electoral fraud and its remedies) for the Philippine assembly in 1907.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

How to Beat the Horrific EDSA Traffic?

There’s no way you can beat EDSA traffic during rush hour, either you use a nonexistent teleport machine or you ride a helicopter and fly (which commoners like us have no access) over the long highway turned parking lot.

Traversing EDSA on a rush hour equates to a #chaotic, #formidable, #life-draining experience. It’s an everyday event that becomes a common and ordinary part of every daily grinder’s life. But have you think about which mode of transportation in EDSA you can actually trust in case you’re caught up in the rush hour window?

With the endless lines of MRT commuters on the entrance, the moving human-sardine bus, and the bumper-to-bumper traffic in the private lanes, choosing your transportation may be a hard decision.

Surprisingly, MRT is still the best & fastest way to get through EDSA. You can read the full account and adventure of the reporters in EDSA time travel: Fastest by car, bus, or train?

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Epifanio de los Santos Avenue

Quezon may be disappointed that Edsa did not turn out to be the most beautiful in the country, but it remains the longest—from Caloocan at its northernmost end, passing by Quezon City, Mandaluyong and Makati, to its southernmost end in Pasay.

The story about its name that I first heard in the board of the National Historical Institute three decades ago was that, the government wanted to rename Highway 54 in honor of a Filipino historian. But the most eminent ones at the time, like Teodoro A. Agoncillo, Gregorio Zaide and Horacio de la Costa, were ineligible because they were still alive. With an unwritten rule that streets can only be named after dead people, it became Epifanio de los Santos Avenue.

This is, in fact, fake news, because the real contenders were US General Douglas “I shall return” MacArthur, and the much loved Ramon Magsaysay, who died in a plane crash in 1957. Then there was Jose Rizal, who already had a surplus of streets named after him. Still, the Caballeros de Rizal proposed that Highway 54 be renamed “19 de Junio” to mark the National Hero’s birthday. It could not have been “12 de Junio,” the date of the 1898 declaration of Independence in Kawit, because, at the time, Philippine Independence Day was celebrated on July 4, as in the United States, until Diosdado Macapagal moved it to June 12 in 1962.

Eulogio Rodriguez Jr. was the first to propose Edsa with House Bill 2832, on the grounds that the street passed through the province of Rizal and should honor an illustrious son of the province. Unfortunately, the Rodriguez bill did not prosper and the proponent passed away. Under a new Congress, the initiative was taken up by Nacionalista Party member F. Sumulong and the Liberal Party’s Benedicto Padillo. The Sumulong bill was filed, first supported by the Philippines Historical Committee, the Philippine Historical Association, the Philippine National Historical Society, the Philippine Library Association, the Association of University and College Professors, etc. Other resolutions of support were passed by Quezon City in 1954, Pasay in 1955, and Makati in 1958. Politicians in Caloocan and Mandaluyong could not make up their minds and abstained.

Sumulong’s bill was unanimously approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and was signed into law by President Garcia as Republic Act No. 2140—“changing the name of Highway 54 in the province of Rizal to Epifanio de los Santos Avenue in honor of Don Epifanio de los Santos, A [foremost] Filipino Scholar, Jurist and Historian [of his time]”—on April 7, 1959, birthday of Don Panyong.

It is sad that Epifanio de los Santos is all but unknown to millennials today. He was a man described by contemporaries as the most learned man of his time, the best guitar player of his time, and the most eminent collector, writer, critic, historian and director of the National Library of his time.