Archive for the ‘reaction’ Category

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Viva Iligan!

August 20, 2008

Amid rumored MILF attacks and after the panic last night, Iligan seemed normal today.
I was expecting a subdued air, and perhaps see a little Christian vs. Muslim animosity, but nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary, at least on the outside. I’m not so sure about what is going inside of the people’s minds.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but think of the words of our Mayor, Laurence Cruz as he appealed for calm to the panicked citizens of last night. I couldn’t recall his exact words but after hearing them in a replay this morning, I couldn’t help but be inspired. His words made me proud to be Iliganon. The people made a good choice in making him Mayor.
In the speech, he appealed for:

Calm.
Bravery.
Community.
And Solidarity.

He also urged community leaders to lead the people under them, to prepare for the worst, and fight if the need arose. He also mentioned the presence of the tanks and the several thousand strong army defending Iligan.
He also mentioned that the people of Iligan should not be afraid because God and Senior San Miguel was on our side. He closed his speech with a, “Viva Senior San Miguel!,” to which the people heartily replied a “Viva”.
Although, I’m Protestant and do not agree with Catholic veneration of saints and even angels, I could not help but realize that the Mayor was speaking the heart language of the Iliganon, something that they could understand. He was speaking the old language of the Spanish times at the time when the citizens of the old fort of Iligan defended the fort and even waged battle against the Moros. Historically, even though Iligan was just a doorstep away from the Moro stronghold of Marawi, it was never conquered by Muslims despite the fact that at that time their pirates raided Christian towns as far away as Luzon.
The citizens attributed the miracle of Iligan’s fortitude to San Miguel, known in English as St. Michael the Archangel. Legends about miracles against invading Moros abound in Iligan folk history. In the legends, marauding Muslims would suddenly lose sight of Iligan as they move in to conquer. All they would see would be a large basin of water that corresponded to the land of Iligan. Other legends mention Muslims seeing a very beautiful lady and a child with wings poised above Iligan. The old ones say that the lady is the virgin Mary and the winged child is San Miguel.
When the mayor appealed to the intercession of San Miguel, he let loose words that were spoken only during the fiesta, a day when Catholic Iliganons celebrate San Miguel’s protection over the city. He awakened the latent racial memory of the Iliganons, and let them remember that throughout history Iligan had withstood violent Muslims.
Now that a new violent Muslim threat in the form of the terrorist MILF stands poised to attack Iligan, Mayor Cruz instilled hope and confidence to the populace that the city would survive and perhaps even come out strong now that they are rallying under the banner of God and Senior San Miguel.

As a Protestant, I, of course, would not rally under the banner of San Miguel. Yet for the sake of the safety of Iligan I would rally under the banner of Mayor Laurence Cruz.
“Maayong Iligan! Viva Iligan!”

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A Word of Advice

August 18, 2008

This is a word of advice to the President of the Philippines.

Madam,
If you want to reclaim the support of Mindanao residents, please wipe out the MILF rebels. Declare their group as a terrorist organization, and refuse dialog with them.

The people here are talking of the “good old days of Erap” when he crushed the power of the MILF. Many still curse the day that Erap was toppled from power considering that he had almost solved the problem of the MILF insurgency. They say that it was a mistake that the Arroyo government opened negotiations with them. They also say that the Philippines is now reaping the effects of the “peace process”.
The MILF has already shown its true colors. It would be treasonous and inhuman to let them legitimately rule a part of the country. They could not even control their commanders and sub-commanders, how can they be expected to rule a state!
Besides, these murders are a foreshadowing of what they would do to their would be denizens.
Please protect your people from them…

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Bombed

August 17, 2008

Last I heard, 4 bombs have just exploded in Iligan.
The first one blew up this afternoon on 5:45 pm. It was followed by 3 more as of 8pm. People here, however, are not that surprised. Text messages warning Muslims from visiting certain places had been circulating since about 2 weeks ago. Somehow these messages leaked to the Christian population, and that’s how most of the population had foreknowledge of this event.
Rumor has it also that the plan was to blow up 7 bombs. I don’t know if the supposed 3 other bombs have already blown up, considering that the radio stations have all signed off for the night, and that most of the local channels of our Cable provider have mysteriously gone on static mode. One bomb might have ended up blowing off part of the Cable company’s equipment, but this would be made clear tomorrow when the radio stations would be broadcasting again if their equipment would not be blown off during the night.
The text messages clearly pointed to the MUJAHEDIN as the perpetrators of the bombings. These messages blamed Mayor Cruz for the words that he said after he learned that 82% of the city would have been given to the rebels according to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the formation of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE).
Just this day, I’ve also learned that the MILF rebels have even dared to accuse the mayor of paying the citizens of Iligan (Iliganons) to protest against the MOA that was to have been signed in Malaysia. Our mayor forcefully and responsibly denied this allegation during his interview with the ANC. In doing so, he defended the integrity of the city against the libelous rebels.
I think the rebels planted these bombs in retaliation for the city’s rejection of the supposed peace treaty between Christian and Muslim, but which is now becoming a rally point for war. Btw, the other majority Christian areas Zamboanga City and North Cotaboto affected by the MOA also had their share of bombs. Fortunately for them they had their bombs successfully defused.
Nevertheless, I fear more will be coming, not only for Mindanao but also for faraway Manila considering that Muslim rebels have bombed Manila in the past for less grave concerns. Yet strangely, the government is still hell bent to continue the “peace” process despite the fact that the rebels clearly are not honoring their side of the bargain.
There is only one recourse for this situation. These rebels should be wiped out cleanly from this side of the world. They have just made the first move. Let the government, if it really is serving the welfare of its loyal citizens, retaliate. Let the government strike hard, harder than what Russia did to Georgia. Cripple them so they may no longer have the power to fight back! Show them what justice is. Extend justice in the name of the citizens that you serve for the rebels’ kidnappings, murders, rapes, and theft. Show them that their actions have corresponding consequences.
Peace in Mindanao cannot come from peace treaties. Retribution is the only way. Justice is the true path to peace not only in Mindanao but also the world.

PS I just received another text message. It says that the rebels have descended near the city. Please pray for us. War is coming…

PPS Official reports say there were only two bombs which blew up. Fortunately, the suspect was one of the victims of the blasts. Serves him right…

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A Little Relief

August 4, 2008

So the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the supposed signing of the government vs. MILF rebel Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that would give legitimacy to a new state called the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE). Strangely, the MILF website apparently knew of the decision beforehand because it suddenly showed that the signing would occur on August 25 instead of August 5 before the announcement earlier today. A mole in the Supreme Court perhaps?
Btw, I didn’t join the rally earlier today, but I did wear a red armband in protest of the deal. I, however, saw the rallyists. They did not just number only the run of the mill masses commonly seen in other anti-government rallies; they also had professionals, students, and businessmen with them. Passionate words condemning the MOA and prayers for peace, clarity, wisdom, and the bunking of the MOA rose from a people betrayed by their President.
They and also I breathed a sigh of relief today. The Supreme Court granted North Cotabato’s petition to issue a TRO on the signing. This, however, did not prevent the negotiators to fly to Malaysia not to sign the agreement but to while away and enjoy the luxuries that only “benevolent and selfless peacekeepers without any vested interest for the protection of Sabah against the rightful Philippine claim” could give.
Nevertheless, the fight for our continued independence is not yet over. We were just granted a postponement, not a debunking of the controversial MOA. We are just hoping that the President will listen to our cries and scrap the MOA. We also want to see what is actually written in the document that would have been signed tomorrow.
We don’t want to hear the damned “executive privilege” excuse again. We want the truth! We want to know for what price we would have been sold in exchange for an expected peace, but will in reality be another grim episode in the history of Christian-Muslim relations…
PLEASE DO NOT OPEN THE OLD WOUNDS!!!

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SOLD!

August 2, 2008

We have been sold to rebels!
Secretly, the President brokered a deal with Muslim rebels and has granted them land. The deals were so secret that I’ve just heard that 3 barangays in my city, and about 3 municipalities in my province have been included in the deal. Yet those are only small cuts of the cake that she has stuffed into the mouths of murderers and kidnappers. I heard even Palawan is included in the deal. Citing grand words such as these lands were ancestral Muslim domains, she has in effect surrendered the government’s sovereignty on them. Heck! If she truly believes those words she must give up even Manila to the rebels, considering Manila was ruled by Muslim rajahs during the Spanish colonization.
Our President is desperate. She wants to stay in power, and in order to do so she is courting Muslim favor since the Christian population have been giving her negative approval ratings. Now I wonder how could anyone from her loyalist camp have the guts to stay with her. She is accused of allowing Chinese military ships to spy on Philippine waters. And to add to her sins to the country, she has bowed down to rebel demands.
On another note, I think it’s fishy that Malaysia seems to be too helpful with brokering peace between the Philippine government and the rebels. It is also interesting to note that the only gains that Malaysia-brokered deals have made is the sustenance of the insurgence. Perhaps Malaysia is afraid that really peace would bring a unified Philippine government that would lay claim to the disputed Sabah territory, a region that Malaysia claims as its own.
In the meantime, my city would not act like sheep sold to the slaughter. There would be a rally come Monday as we voice out our protest against this betrayal. Let all those who still have a little love left for this country ring their voices. This is our land. Nobody has the power to give this to anyone!

Source: GMA

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Happy Independence Day?

June 14, 2008

Tartanilla
Photo of a tartanilla* dressed up with national colors.
I’m a few days overdue, but considering what our President has done to mangle up our calendar, I guess my greeting of a Happy Independence Day would still be appropriate for now, or not.
I’m not a political activist. I’m not even close as a nationalist. Yet, strangely, my blood boiled when I learned that the sanctity of the Philippine Independence Day was violated! That day became ordinary. The majority of the people around here were just doing their ordinary day-to-day activities without nary a thought of why they now have the freedom to do those ordinary day-to-day activities.
Some people, however, were observing the holiday with their presence, and not necessarily with their minds. On my way to school, I saw several high school students in the plaza. They were busy fidgeting around and ignoring a speaker whose speech they were forced to listen. I must admit that I was exactly like them when I was still in high school.
I still haven’t changed much. The deplorable state of my country’s political situation has doused all fires of nationalism in me. I know I’m not alone with this feeling. In fact, I know many people here have more extreme feelings. They’d renounce their Filipino citizenship as soon as one advanced country would offer them a new one.
I don’t think our President has to take all the blame on this non-observance of our independence. Even if our Independence Day was to be observed on the exact day, and not on the Monday of that week, the majority of Filipinos, and that would include me, would just stay home and enjoy their day off from work or school.
So I guess that makes me lose the right to complain about the scandal the President had caused by moving the holiday to Monday. Perhaps that day’s meaning has already been lost to us. Yet I know it wouldn’t hurt for me to greet every Filipino reading this post a “Happy Independence Day” whatever that may mean…

*The tartanilla is a type of horse-drawn carriage. This carriage differs from the Tagalog calesa in that the tartanilla’s passengers face the side of the vehicle while the calesa passengers face front. Yes, it’s still a form of public transport here.

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Janina San Miguel vs. Ms. South Carolina

March 13, 2008

I know you guys are pretty tired right now from hearing about Janina’s excursion in the travesty that is the Bb. Pilipinas pageant show. I promise I won’t post anything about her as soon as I give my 2 cents worth on the issue.
But before that I’d like to say something to some people who are clamoring in support of her. They tell us that we should not judge her because she doesn’t know English, and speaking in English is a sign of colonialism yadda yadda:
“Please don’t take the “English is a colonial language” argument in justifying this travesty. Some of us actually don’t care whether she answered in English or in Filipino. The point is that she didn’t answer the question, but she still won. ’nuff said.”

For those of you who haven’t seen the clip yet, here’s a Youtube clip.

Yet it seems that even users of English as a first language can have a hard time in answering the “question and answer portion”. So much for the argument that English should be given more priority here… Btw, here’s a clip with the infamous Ms. South Carolina 2007.

So here’s my 2 cents that you’ve been waiting for. Stop yammering that Filipino should be given more importance in the country. Stop yammering that English is declining and we should do something about it. Stop yammering that beauty and brains should go together.
Just stop, and enjoy these blunders, hoping that they’d stop doing them in the future.

PS I do wonder if it’s possible to raise one’s ability to answer intelligently. If it’s not possible, then I do hope that Janina doesn’t get to be in the tof 10 during the Ms. World contest proper. She already shamed herself during the local contest. May she not shame her country during the international contest.