Remembering Bonifacio

Picture of Filipino insurgent leader Andres Bo...

The Spanish Title below him translates, "President of the Tagalog Republic"

In two days we will celebrate the birth date of a hero, Gat Andres Bonifacio, the Father of the Philippine Revolution.

Andres Bonifacio has proven to us that the Filipino is truly worth dying for. He and his men have been injured and killed fighting to free us from the clench of the Spanish Crown. And in many respects, he was successful, though he shall not live to see the day of our freedom. Andres Bonifacio has shown us that no battle is too difficult to lodge and no war is too bloody to fight if done in the name and spirit of freedom.

He has contributed to our freedom by lending no less than his life into the pursuit of it; his wife and family even contributing their own time to see the Revolution through; and they have succeeded, we all have. And for that, we thank him.

Without the courageous effort of Bonifacio, we may have the Euro as our currency today and may have been part of the progress of Mother Spain, but what the hell! He gave us the greatest gift of all — FREEDOM.

Happy Birthday, Gat Andres Bonifacio. Mabuhay Ka! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!


Hound of Dominic

Another complaint has been filed against me by the abusive regent of my college, Rev. Fr. Edgardo Alaurin, OP, assisted by his hound Mr. Raul Ortega. The said complaint has yet to be served, especially considering that the tyrant of CFAD is not acquainted with the concept of due process. While this is a great disturbance to schooling and my candidacy here in Cainta, I embrace it with fullness and with the excitement to respond to the issues at bar.

I am no stranger to the tyranny of the regent’s administration. In 2007, the Regent has also been instrumental in barraging me with complaints as filed by the then Dean Jaime delos Santos and College Secretary Jean Reintegrado. The hearing of those complaints centered on the destruction of my name and credibility and did not fully tackle the issues at hand. The usual… A Catholic university and a Dominican frair who is everything bu Christian.

On Monday, I will be filing a clarificatory inquiry with the Rector of the University, Rev. Fr. Dela Rosa, OP, on the true role a Regent must fulfill in a college where he is of jurisdiction. In my view, the Regent has gone beyond his borders in the discharge of his mandate; and has already stepped way too far into functions that a dean must perform. It is imprudent for an official to be overlapping with the function of the college chief executive.

Of course, being a student, I expect the university to treat my case with a system where I prove MY innocence than them PROVING my guilt. As soon as I receive the complaint/s/ (I’m not sure how many), we will respond with quickness so that all may be put to rest. Just the same, should nothing of the allegations are proven, I will be filing slander cases in the local courts and have these people FULLY accountable for the destruction they have brought to my name and reputation.

As a politician and a student of the university, it is incumbent upon me to advance my principles at all levels of my existence. I run under the banner of stoppage of abuses, which I have lived up to until today.

The corruption occurring in the college of fine arts right now is not only a corruption of the pocket, but a sheer expression of gluttony for power. We clearly see a hound of Dominic so hungry for power that he treats everything with an iron fist, expecting to extract sincerity and compassion. It must be remembered, what you sow is what you reap.

I strongly feel that the behavior of Rev. Fr. Alaurin is not only a breach of moral and ethical standards for cleric-administrators but an abuse of his moral and political authority. He blows as low as to threaten me about a fallacious probation, and a threat to drop me from the college’s rolls — what power does he have to do that.

I shall as well file a complaint before the Dominican province to ask for an investigation to the behavior of the Regent which I find unpriestly. All documents shall be duly received by the respective office by the opening of business hour, Monday.

Peace. The battle has begun, yet again.

Rights and Wrongs

I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

When I first signed up to be LAKAS-KAMPI-CMD’s official candidate for councilor here in Cainta, I assumed that my candidacy would be judged based on the opinion on PGMA, the most notable party member. It would not be invalid to reason that way; since the head of the party, the current president, has her survey ratings at an all-time low, has been in the midst of insurmountable political opposition, and has been in power long enough to gain the distaste of once staunch supporter. But because of my strong belief that PGMA did an amazing job, and my candidacy would not be up to my own standards should I not be part of the Christian Muslim Democrats, I have bravely signed up. And official candidate I became.

When I first had a meal with my close cousin and discussed who she was voting for president, she expressed her dislike over PGMA, the Chair Emeritus of CMD, our party. But, to my surprise, she said that after seeing GIBO on TV and in fora around (she is a med student), she is confused about either voting for Noynoy (her initial bet) and GIBO (her bet on the rise). The only thing that held her back was GIBO’s association with the president; so was her reservation about my candidacy. But this died down soon after.

When I first went around my town introducing myself, I can’t help but be initially frightened to be part of the administration’s roster of candidates because of seemingly indelible notions on this administration which proved painful even if untrue.

It may be true that PGMA is the biggest “baggage” that administration candidates bear (which I think is unfair), GIBO has proven to be the candidate who made it disappear altogether.

GIBO’s constructive campaign prepup reminded the people that the 2010 elections are not about those who are seated now, but about those who are to sit in the future. GIBO’s campaign reminded all of us that the 2010 candidates must be judged on their own merit, and not on the merit of their predecessor. GIBO’s campaign reminded all of us that we must not judge candidates based on who is prominent in the party strata, but how they forward the party’s agenda and translate it into tangible programs felt by the people.

When GIBO’s mouth first opened, we almost completely forgot his association with GMA. GIBO is his own man; with his own government program and vision of the future. GIBO deviates from the traditional way of politics, where men hang onto whatever’s to be left behind by the ones before them.

And with the decision of sticking it through with LAKAS-KAMPI-CMD, and GIBO.

I was right. Very, very right.

Be Mine, Ed.

Taking a sidetrip from campaign and class…

I have dreaming of falling madly in love again (who doesn’t, eh?) with someone who is simple and frugal. With the life journey I am about to embark on, I desperately need a person who can be my rock; someone who will understand the ups and downs of public life, and most especially, someone who will be there beside me through the best and worst days of my life, whether in or out of politics.

Thank God, Starbuck’s gave me the answer.

It was not one of the coffee choices they offer, nor the juices or pastries. All those give me a certain feeling of relief. But this cute barista named “Ed” captured my heart, with his smile like a fish net and my heart like a succumbant cod in the deep of sea.The feeling was something I felt only a few times in my life; the feeling of an inner smile that exudes to your mouth, thus, making it [mouth] smile as well.

‘Twas a random day when my BM [Bi-Manila] friends and me decided to hangout at Starbucks Retiro. Being immersed in a deep depression due to the loss of my last relationship, I never really tried doing anything else than focus on my campaign. As a result thereof, I became a robot; an emotionless creature designed only to do a primal objective which, may or may not, make me happy or bring gratification. At this time, I knew inside that I may be a few inches away from self-destruction.

But that random day would prove to be everything but random nor ordinary. With my cane, I struggle to gain decent footing as I approach the counter. There, delightful and interesting pastries and drink offerings were festooned. But what captured my eyes was the very sincere smile of a cute, Chinese-looking barista. His eyes smiled, together with his lips, and asked for my order.

And the rest, as it is clicheically said, is history.

His name was Ed. It’s a short name. It may not even be his real name (knowing SB tradition of interchanging names). But no matter what his name is, it doesn’t matter; for the language of the heart knows no real names or pseudonyms; they know no bounds or limits. In time I know I’ll have his real name.

Going back…

For the past few days, amid my mom’s fiery remarks about my late crash time here at home, I feel elated; sublimely happy, in fact, that no form of adversity can ruin my day. And this I boldly attribute to Ed’s coming in my life. For a few hours and a couple of drinks everyday, I feel light; I feel happy. And the emotions are back – which is good. At least now I re-learned how to smile again; how to be happy again.

The sad facts…

He may not like me. Of course, there is 9 out of 8 chance that he does not like me. But who cares? After all, seeing him does not necessitate his liking of me; in fact, it only costs an iced tea or a bagel daily (Laughs). But in time I know it will deeply cut a wound in my life should he not like me. But I think I’m prepared for that. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, as they say. Another sad is that he may be taken (it’s sadder to know that he’s taken than knowing that he’s straight). If he’s taken, no more bump or lump in his heart for me. And lastly, assuming his hobo and single, Im not hot enough to be liked by a guy like him. Well perhaps I just did not win the aesthetic lottery. Crap!

The Future…

The 1st day I saw him I knew that he would be the type I’d like to marry, or spend a big chunk of my lifetime with. He looks and is very warm and kind. And I think he’s got what it takes to keep up with the worst job in life; keeping me happy. I think that, strategically, he’ll be an asset too. My town would love to have a councilor’s husband who would be nice and warm and who will become the listener to their problems. I want him to be their rock just as he is mine. But the future is so far away.

That’s all for now…

Peace. Be mine, Ed.

Birthday Rantings.

Another AB batchmate, Arden, celebrated his 22nd birthday last night in a bash he chose to grace in Watering Hole, EDSA SHangri-La. ‘Twas a fun day since I got to meet new people such as Kid (a former Pinoy Idol contestant) and Mae (Arden’s friend). We had a couple of drinks and had a blastful evening that ended in small talk with my friend, Llewie.

AT this point, being 22 gets sucked into my system; the rumor is true, we are not getting any younger and life ain’t getting longer. Life is one beautiful spun yarn of experiences and challenges that construct us to become people. Without these experiences we are living, yet lifeless.

I wonder why people celebrate harder as they grow old? Perhaps because as we age, we begin to realize and come to terms with the inevitable reality that our chances of getting more tomorrows diminish; we begin to contend with another pressing reality, which is passing. And because we know that at one point passing will come, we celebrate hard, and try to lick the best of the moments while they are there; while they are still real.

Birthdays are beautiful moments to celebrate, but are nothing but tombstone markings when we die.So we must all celebrate while the tomorrows keep on coming. Let us all celebrate like there are only a few of it left.


A Message on the 81st Anniversary of the Varsitarian

A paper whose survival was once just a dream now stands firm as one of the nation’s oldest student publications, the Varsitarian has been a silent witness through history as it brings forward her greatest children in the field of letters. The Varsitarian has seen the rise and fall of leaders, the successes and failures of men and women; but most of all, has seen the arduous efforts of the unsung men and women who once traversed our university’s patios.

The pages of this publication contains history, made by young men and women who shall, in the future, be as historical as the paper itself. But its bulk contains personal experiences of Thomasians reflected through its articles.

The V is not just a student publication of good news; but a vigilante against the bad news. Over the course of the years; its eight decades of existence, the V has become the source, not only of news and stories, but of hope for many Thomasians.

From Villa-Panganiban then to Divinagracia now, the publication has evolved into a journal that battles alongside the students in important causes such as Students’ Rights, and in the fight to improve Student Services. It becomes the voice of the weak and the oppressed, and the shield of the students’ few defenders fighting on the frontlines of classrooms, dean’s offices, and SWDB offices across the university. It has become the mighty pen that defeated the mighty sword many many times.

On its 81st anniversary, may the Lord grant our Varsitarian more vitality than ever as it confronts bigger issues. May its leadership continue to become servants to the true and authentic Thomasian interest.




Students’ Rights Advocare

University of Santo Tomas

We All Will Heal, Somehow

No matter how deeps the cuts are, or how nasty wounds can get, everything gets healed, with and by time.

As the old saying goes, “time heals all wounds”. And no wound, neither physical or emotional, is exempted.

With all the antagonism behind me and as I move on with my university life, I busy myself with a new enterprise I entered into with my friends, as well as my studies. Wounds are present, but do not bleed anymore.

And it surprises me; the way time repairs wounds, heals relationships, and rebuilds lives. Nothing can be a better experience.

To a certain extent, I was deeply hurt by everything that happened in the past. But I know others got hurt, too. And healing can only begin if both parties acknowledge that hurting happened, and if they are willing to repair whatever there is left, or begin if there’s nothing left at all.

University life has been one of the most moving experiences I’ve had by far. It has been the great testament to my strength and fortitude as a person; whilst being a mirror showing my frailties, imperfections, and inequities. My Thomasian education taught me not only to sow wounds (when needed), but to heal them either needed or otherwise.

And now, with everything else behind me, and with almost everything water under the bridge, I wish to give back. For giving a part of yourself is therapeutic in a way; recognizing the fact that a part of you may be stem cell for potentially productive and nice relationships can be soothing to the emotional palette.

And now I wish to give back. Give back and go back. Give back a part of myself that I owe to my university education;and go back to the path of righteousness, illumined my faith and sanctioned by proper reason. Healing entails giving of the self, and going back to the self.

I am now working on a way to give back by assisting in university programs related to healing and re-channeling of once misguided Thomasians. How? Through art, through extensive yosi breaks, through listening, whatever. But I have to give back.

I am now going to draft a letter to the SWDB OSA about helping fellow students who underwent the same experience to heal themselves; face the truth that life is never just about the self-but rather a self immersed with others. I am planning to conduct art therapy sessions to students with troubled minds and hearts, to men and women, professor or student, guard or academician, to everyone, in need of healing. Time heals all wounds, art is its band-aid.

I intend to begin this year right, for there are many things to look forward to. If God provides, I will see through graduation in 2011. And by that time, I will be a new man, fully healed and functional, ready to serve and listen, ready to share burdens, ready to be me again.

Let us not live telling others how to leave, rather let us leave telling others how live. After all, as Ashes to Ashes said, “we’re only living to leave the way we came.”

And with living comes healing; with leaving, more suffering.

Peace. Especially to those in pain or in burden.